Jonathan Franzen (born August 17, 1959) is an American novelist and essayist.
Franzen was raised in Webster Groves, Missouri and educated at Swarthmore.
He is the author Purity, The Corrections (winner of the 2001 National Book Award for fiction), Freedom, The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion, as well as other novels, and numerous essays and nonfiction. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the German Akademie der Künste.
Freedom received a lot of public attention and Franzen appeared on the cover of Time magazine with the headline "Great American Novelist". In the UK in early 2010, Freedom was the subject of a recall. An earlier draft of the book had mistakenly been published instead of his edited copy. HarperCollins, the publisher, had an exchange program, but thousands of books had already been distributed.
The Corrections, a novel of social criticism, received a lot of critical acclaim in the United States. Publicity surrounding the book drew him into a well-publicized spat with Oprah Winfrey, who cancelled an interview with Franzen after he published his concerns that being chosen as an Oprah Book Club Selection might have a negative impact on reaching a male readership. The book sold well, nevertheless.