The End of the End of the Earth (Hardcover)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374147938, 240pp.
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
December 2018 Indie Next List
— Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
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A sharp and provocative new essay collection from the award-winning author of Freedom and The Corrections
The essayist, Jonathan Franzen writes, is like “a fire-fighter, whose job, while everyone else is fleeing the flames of shame, is to run straight into them.” For the past twenty-five years, even as his novels have earned him worldwide acclaim, Franzen has led a second life as a risk-taking essayist. Now, at a moment when technology has inflamed tribal hatreds and the planet is beset by unnatural calami- ties, he is back with a new collection of essays that recall us to more humane ways of being in the world.
Franzen’s great loves are literature and birds, and The End of the End of the Earth is a passionate argument for both. Where the new media tend to confirm one’s prejudices, he writes, literature “invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong, maybe even entirely wrong, and to imagine why someone else might hate you.” Whatever his subject, Franzen’s essays are always skeptical of received opinion, steeped in irony, and frank about his own failings. He’s frank about birds, too (they kill “everything imaginable”), but his reporting and reflections on them—on seabirds in New Zealand, warblers in East Africa, penguins in Antarctica—are both a moving celebration of their beauty and resilience and a call to action to save what we love.
Calm, poignant, carefully argued, full of wit, The End of the End of the Earth provides a welcome
breath of hope and reason.
About the Author
Praise For The End of the End of the Earth: Essays…
"The work of a writer at the top of his game." —Sarah Crown, The Guardian
"Franzen, unlike many, listens. It’s what makes him one of the best living writers of fictional dialogue, and it’s what makes his arguments productively provocative." —Charles Arrowsmith, The Washington Post