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Shelf Life

Freedom: A Novel

Matt Berger Dec 15, 2010

Title: Freedom

Author: Jonathan Franzen

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Type: Fiction

Released: August 31, 2010

Length: 576 pages

Here’s one Jonathan Franzen book that officially made it on to Oprah’s book list. From the author of the bestselling book The Corrections (which didn’t make the list after Oprah asked and Franzen rejected), comes a new book, Freedom.

Freedom: A Novel tells the story of the Berglunds, a Midwestern family and the big issues they face. The novel’s characters all want things powerfully, but are frustrated in not being able to get what they want.

In his interview with Marketplace, Franzen comments on one of its major themes, our ability to continue growing our economy: “It makes you wonder about the economics that underpins our entire way of life, that it has no way of accounting for the limits to growth. There are all these externalities, which classical economics simply ignores, and that most important one, the one that’s most in the news this summer, is the environment… You want more growth? You’re going to drill ever deeper in the Gulf; the deeper you drill, the higher the risk, the more catastrophes are waiting for us. And yet, what’s the alternative?

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