The Discomfort Zone
|Number of pages:||208|
The Discomfort Zone is Jonathan Franzen’s tale of growing up afraid of spiders, school dances, urinals, music teachers, boomerangs, popular girls, and his parents. It’s also a portrait of a middle-class family weathering the turbulence of the 1970s, and a vivid personal history of the decades in which America turned away from its mid-century idealism and became a more polarized society. Whether he’s writing about the explosive dynamics of a Christian youth fellowship in the 1970s, the effects of Kafka’s fiction on his own protracted quest to lose his virginity, or the web of connections between birdwatching, his all-consuming marriage, and the problem of global warming, Franzen’s recounting of a Midwestern youth and a New York adulthood is warmed by the same blend of comic scrutiny and affection that characterizes his fiction. Funny, insightful, and daringly honest, The Discomfort Zone is Jonathan Franzen at his most engaging.
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