Jonathan Franzen / Greg Martin
Jonathan Franzen © Greg Martin
About the Author

Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959, and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1981, he studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar and later worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. In addition to winning a Whiting Writers' Award in 1988 and the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000, he has been named one of "Twenty Writers for the 21st Century" by The New Yorker and one of the "Best Young American Novelists" by Granta.

He is the author of three previous novels: The Corrections, which won the National Book Award and spent 29 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list; The Twenty-Seventh City; and Strong Motion. He is also the author of two works of nonfiction, How to Be Alone and The Discomfort Zone. Jonathan divides his time between New York City and Santa Cruz, California.

Read "My Bird Problem" from The Discomfort Zone and learn more about Jonathan's love affair with bird-watching and his own relationships.

Learn more about Freedom and start reading an excerpt from the book.

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