American novelist Jonathan Franzen has reflected on the impact of his book The Corrections, as it reaches its 20th anniversary.
Published in 2001, the Nineties-set critique of capitalist excess and American society was released just days before 9/11, the timing of which was described as an “uncanny coincidence”.
The novel received critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, as well as winning the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction.
At the time, Franzen expressed ambivalence at his work being chosen because he viewed past selections as “schmaltzy”. His public remarks prompted Winfrey to disinvite him from her show; the pair ended their feud over a decade later.
In the interview, he describes being “the second most-hated person in America for a few weeks” and recalled a New York Times opinion page containing two articles, “one about evil Osama bin Laden and a piece on how terrible I was”.
Nine years after the fallout, in 2010, the pair reconciled when Franzen published his next novel, Freedom, which Winfrey picked as her first Oprah Book Club selection.
Franzen’s new book, Crossroads, will be released by HarperCollins on 5 October.
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