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 Universitt 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.
Mr. Franzen is the author of The Twenty-Seventh City (FSG, 1988) and Strong Motion (FSG, 1992) and is a frequent contributor to Harper's and The New Yorker (where portions of The Corrections have appeared). He lives in New York City.