jami attenberg

Franzen’s Status

This follows Roxane’s Tuesday post, and Jami Attenberg’s initial observation/criticism of something she heard Franzen say. Their defense of Twitter/Facebook/etc. is of course right: small press writers and publishers need those tools to promote themselves and their works. But I’m less convinced that Franzen has “lost perspective,” as Attenberg puts it, or “doesn’t understand what Twitter is for,” as Roxane claims. Instead, I think Franzen is making a deeper, more disturbing criticism—the latest salvo in a decade-long attack on certain writers, certain kinds of fiction, and ultimately, a certain construction of art itself.

To grasp all of that, let’s look more closely at a different part of his complaint:

[Twitter is] like writing a novel without the letter ‘P’…It’s the ultimate irresponsible medium.

Um—huh? What do lipograms have to do with social networking? And how are they irresponsible?


Web Hype / 39 Comments
March 8th, 2012 / 8:01 am


jami lives in a very brooklyn building

Jami Attenberg’s new novel The Melting Season just came out from Riverhead, and she’s reading tonight at Word Bookstore in Brooklyn.  The novel’s about a woman named Moonie Madison whose husband has a micropenis, and she has some adventures involving lost women, dangerous men, Prince impersonators, and Vegas.  The writing is really good and the book is Jami’s best so far.  (I reviewed her first novel, The Kept Man, when it came out, and her collection Instant Love is excellent.)  I asked her some questions about the book and about writing sex scenes and what kind of musician impersonator she’d like to hook up with.

Author Spotlight / 6 Comments
January 28th, 2010 / 11:43 am