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Book Information: How to Be Alone: Essays

How to Be Alone: Essays (2002) [Textbook]
by Jonathan Franzen Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections was the best-loved and most-written-about novel of 2001. Nearly every in-depth review of it discussed what became known as "The Harper's Essay," Franzen's controversial 1996 investigation of the fate of the American novel. This essay is reprinted for the first time in How to be Alone, along with the personal essays and the dead-on reportage that earned Franzen a wide readership before the success of The Corrections. Although his subjects range from the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each piece wrestles with familiar themes of Franzen's writing: the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America. Recent pieces include a moving essay on his father's stuggle with Alzheimer's disease (which has already been reprinted around the world) and a rueful account of Franzen's brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.

As a collection, these essays record what Franzen calls "a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance -- even a celebration -- of being a reader and a writer." At the same time they show the wry distrust of the claims of technology and psychology, the love-hate relationship with consumerism, and the subversive belief in the tragic shape of the individual life that help make Franzen one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social critics.


  • My Father's Brain
  • Imperial Bedroom
  • Why Bother?
  • Lost in the Mail
  • Erika Imports
  • Sifting the Ashes
  • The Reader in Exile
  • First City
  • Scavenging
  • Control Units
  • Mr. Difficult
  • Books in Bed
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Inauguration Day, January 2001

Original title: How to Be Alone: Essays
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionNonfiction (admin Use Only)

Edition #1: How to Be Alone: Essays

How to Be Alone: Essays (2002)
Edition Details:

Language: English

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Manifested in:

How to Be Alone: Essays (2003)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 9780312422165
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8 x 0.8 in
Pages: 320

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How to Be Alone: Essays (2002)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374173272
Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.8 x 1 in
Pages: 288

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