Desperate Characters

Desperate Characters Cover

Desperate Characters

By Paula Fox; Fox; Jonathan Franzen (Introduction by)

W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393318944, 156pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 1999

Otto and Sophie Bentwood live childless in a renovated Brooklyn brownstone. The complete works of Goethe line their bookshelf, their stainless-steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked curbside. But after Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a half-starved neighborhood cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague their lives. The fault lines of their marriage are revealed echoing the fractures of society around them, slowly wrenching itself apart. First published in 1970 to wide acclaim, Desperate Characters stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd, The Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, and Seize the Day.

About the Author
Paula Fox is the author of the memoirs "The Coldest Winter "and "Borrowed Finery", five novels, and a Newberry Award-winning children's book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

JONATHAN FRANZEN is the author of four novels, The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion, The Corrections (winner of the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction) and the #1 international bestseller Freedom; two collections of essays, How to Be Alone and Farther Away; and a personal history, The Discomfort Zone. In 2010, TIME magazine named him the Great American Novelist. Franzen lives in New York City, New York, and Santa Cruz, California.