Franzen on Time

Time magazine has made Jonathan Franzen their coverboy using the line “Great American Novelist”. It’s a big deal because, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the last living novelist Time had on the cover was Stephen King back almost ten years ago.

The Time piece seems gently reverential right down to the “crow’s-feet behind his thick-framed nerd glasses” and his forthcoming fourth novel, Freedom, is called “the story of an American family, told with extraordinary power and richness”. As part of the Franzen fiesta there’s also five novels that inspired him, plus there’s his recent pick of The Man Who Loved Children for his favourite summer read.

We’d probably add to it his New Yorker essay on his love of the Peanuts comic strip, but the real question is whether Oprah will be picking up his new book after he snubbed her book club with The Corrections.