Jonathan Franzen spoke to an intimate group of primarily undergraduate students on April 28, 2016, in UC Berkeley’s Morrison Library. In examining his New Yorker article “Carbon Capture,” he discussed the exhaustive process of drafting, writing, and rewriting that is critical for truly meaningful work. Franzen took apart his finished piece, showing us his methods, speaking to the relationship between writer and editor, and telling us the story behind the story.
Jonathan Franzen is one of our country’s most important writers. He is the recipient of a National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His novels The Corrections, Freedom, and Purity were New York Times bestsellers. Time called him the “great American novelist”; The Paris Review noted that Franzen’s work has reached “a broader audience than any literary novelist of his generation.”