The Discomfort Zone

The Discomfort Zone

A lot of us felt that Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections) got a little snowed over by Oprah during their 2001 dustup. His main crime, I’d argue, was being awkward. Judging from this memoirish collection, much of which ran in The New Yorker, he’s good at that. (Note the title, The Discomfort Zone.) These funny, masterfully composed, self-deprecating — if sometimes too foppish — ruminations on his life so far examine such minitopics as Peanuts, selling his late mother’s house, studying German, bird-watching, and high school prankery. For those eagerly awaiting his Corrections follow-up, this will help get you through the night.

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