Freedom

Hardcover | August 23, 2010

byJonathan Franzen

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Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul -- the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbour who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter -- environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man -- she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz -- outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival -- still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbour," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street’s attentive eyes?

In his first novel sinceThe Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys ofFreedom's intensely realized characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

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Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul -- the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbour who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and ...

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, andFreedom; a collection of non-fiction,How to Be Alone; andThe Discomfort Zone, a memoir. He has been named one of theGranta20 Best Novelists Under 40 and is a frequent contributor to...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:576 pages, 9.5 × 6.38 × 1.83 inPublished:August 23, 2010Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554688833

ISBN - 13:9781554688838

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?Franzen has an uncanny knack for capturing the torturously self-justifying rhetoric and trendy slang of educated Gen Xers rebelling against their suburban childhoods by seeking ?authenticity? in the grungy core of the American city. The details of time and place and attitude are so sharp as to induce frequent wincing.? - Toronto Star ()