It's an exciting week for literary hipsters: Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom, has landed him on the cover of Time magazine, joining an exclusive list of living authors who have graced said cover.
Here's a (rather odd) statement from Esquire on the novel:
"I hope that books like Freedom will still play a role in the culture, still engage us in a serious conversation about the anachronistic things that matter most — our families, our lovers, our country, our planet. Freedom reminds us just how much these things matter, reminds us that they matter more than Scotch and jeans and Jake Gyllenhaal."
We'll grant you that this novel is perhaps of more lasting importance than Jake Gyllenhaal (although we're pretty big Donnie Darko fans), but more important than Scotch? That's just silly.
The novel, like Franzen's former novel, The Corrections, is about a Midwestern family. According to an Amazon review, this particular family's "stories align at times with Big Issues--among them mountaintop removal, war profiteering, and rock'n'roll" (Chip: "One can't be a Great American Novelist without tackling 'mountaintop removal'"). The release date is August 31 and the boys will be hosting a series of weekly discussions about it at the Pig. First topic: Suburban Malaise (hosted by Richard). Second topic: mountaintop removal (hosted by Chip).