The Season for Franzen Mockery Has Begun: A links round-up

Franzen’s new book is out soon, and every joke the internet makes at its expense is music to my ears, yet also I sort of wonder if Franzen and his publisher and The Atlantic and The New Republic are pranking us. They must be, right? This can’t really be real? Anyway, for now let’s just enjoy making fun of Jonathan Franzen, as the founding fathers intended.

Fantasy author NK Jemisin on disrupting the status quo. Note that the author of the interview refers to “stereotypical fantasy series like Lord of the Rings,” which is sort of insane because Lord of the Rings didn’t partake of those stereotypes, it invented them, so settle down with that.

And also, a good thing to know about about tragic queerness in NK Jemisin’s latest book, The Fifth Season, before you start reading it (featuring spoilers).

Same-sex desire in African fiction.

A female author sent out manuscript queries under a male pseudonym, and you’ll never guess what happened next! (Except, yes you will. You’re not naive.)

It turns out that writing a romance novel in which a Jew in Nazi Germany falls in love with the commandant of her concentration camp is not the world’s greatest idea. But Anne Rice is fine with it because of course she is.

Mary Engelbreit is doing a thing to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and that’s going to have to mark the official end of the days in which it was fine for me to mix her up with Lisa Frank.

Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation.

Relatedly: A thoughtful response to that David Brooks review of Between the World and Me.

When we talk about trigger warnings, I feel like we do not often enough point out that people mostly want them as a heads-up, not an excuse note. But let’s do keep that in mind.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I will be reading the latest books from Amitav Ghosh and Meredith Duran, which I think sums me up as a reader pretty thoroughly.

  • This was a fantastic post, and I enjoyed reading the items in the links! Thanks!

  • Juhi @ Nooks & Crannies

    ooh, I love Amitav Ghosh. I devoured his books many moons ago though I’ve only read the first in the Ibis trilogy (which I loved. And yet which never pushed me to read the second in the trilogy…. maybe because of the time gap between the two releases? Like I know now that I just won’t be jumping at the 3rd book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. Even if Patrick Rothfuss decides to write it).

    Hmm, maybe I should re-read The Hungry Tide which I remember loving.

    • I much MUCH prefer to have all the books in a series published before I start with the series. Otherwise, yeah, I fall victim to the thing where I forget to continue with the second book when it comes out. Particularly when it’s something like the Ibis Trilogy, where the books are quite dense to read (though wonderful!).

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    Wow, Anne Rice has really gone off the deep end. As for Franzen, as soon as I heard the other day his new book was about feminism and social media I cringed but also LMAO because the humor. So thanks for the Twitter link to start it all off for me.

    • Eh, Anne Rice has BEEN off the deep end. I always want to urge her to shuuuusssshhh because it seems like every time she speaks publicly, she says something ruhlly dumb and annoying.

  • I’m going to check out some of the links in a minute, but yeah, saw the article in The Atlantic about Franzen. Huh? And trigger warnings and microaggressions and comedians who no longer choose to perform on college campuses. Politically correctness hampers comedians and authors, too. Quagmire.


  • Another wonderful selection of links!

    I’ve been recommended Amitav Ghosh, is his series one worth beginning?