TERRY GROSS: A lot of people think we look very similar, would you care to comment on that?
JONATHAN FRANZEN: Well Terry, you do sort of look like a man; no offense, and I’m dating a feminist, so we’re on the same team here. Most women have long hair and softer features, which is where the problem is. I just think Americans really need to step back and realize it’s not all about capitalism and gender. My new novel Freedom aims to expose the underbelly and subconscious of the American pathos.
TERRY GROSS: Thanks, that was really touching — speaking of which, what am I hearing under the table?
JONATHAN FRANZEN: Well Terry, I’m under contractual agreement with my publishers to “pound away at [my] future,” and this moment I’m focusing on DNA.
TERRY GROSS: Gross.
JONATHAN FRANZEN: Franzen.