Jonathan_Franzen_Purity

This week on the Otherppl with Brad Listi podcast, a wide-ranging conversation with Jonathan Franzen. His latest novel, Purity, is available now in trade paperback from Picador. It is the official August selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

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rolling_stone_tsarnaev

Like so many people, I spent the days after the Boston Marathon bombing glued to social media, the TV blaring in the background. I read everything I could about the Tsarnaev brothers, their parents, their friends, the detectives chasing them.  I learned who the victims were, where their families were standing when the blasts occurred, how close each runner was to the finish line.  Once the press had (finally) correctly identified the suspects, I started following a reporter on Twitter named Wesley Lowery, who, it seemed, was always about two feet away from the action, live-tweeting every gunshot. And on the night that police found Dzhokhar hiding in a boat in Watertown, I was up long after my husband and kids had gone to bed, unable to look away. 

Co-written by Bobbie Ann Mason and Meg Pokrass

 

Peg Mokrass, world-class literary agent with a keen specialty in tweet, micro, and flash, telephones writer Bobbie Ann Mason about the micro-fiction trend sweeping the globe…

PM: Ms. Mason, many writers are making comebacks with bundled twitterings of their original works. In this pioneering spirit, I boldly suggest we shrink your classic novels into spicy Kindle-Android rolls and twitter-package them.

 

BAM: Like bird seed?

 

PM: As the world’s top micro-fiction agent under the age of thirty, I am fascinated to learn that a lot of iconic types—Oates, Updike, Mailer, Hemingway—are the real founders of the micro-fictionist movement. They just didn’t know it. Ernest Hemingway is best remembered for his six-word masterwork “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  Nobody reads his longer works anymore, or if they do, they don’t share them on Pinterest or Twitter.

 

BAM: Oh, pshaw! The Hemingway baby-shoes story is allegedly apocryphal! Have scholars proved he wrote it?  I’m not aware that any of the others in that so-called  iconic bunch ever wrote microscopic fiction. Nobody is reading anything long. That’s why there is no twittering chez Hemingway.

 

In 1959 William S. Burroughs released his classic novel Naked Lunch, developed the Cut-up Method that was to define his writing over the next decade, and discovered Scientology. By cutting up newspaper and magazine articles, liberally mixed with Scientology pamphlets and poems by Rimbaud, Burroughs and collaborator Brion Gysin were able to cut into the future and steal the technology requisite for the invention of the iPhone and Twitter. The result was a serious decline in the quality of Burroughs’ correspondence.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Chad Redden:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Ryan MacDonald:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

L.B. Johnson:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Beach Sloth:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Chris Johns:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in (and around) the world of literature…

Joey Buzz:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Lorian Long:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Nikki Reimer:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Gina Welch:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Matt Cozart:

 

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Jordan Castro: