Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jonathan Franzen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: 1959 in Western Springs, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jonathan Franzen is a novelist and essayist. He was born in Western Springs, Illinois and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. A graduate of Swarthmore College (1981), Franzen began publishing novels in the late 1980s. His book, ''The Corrections'', a sprawling, satirical family drama, drew widespread critical acclaim, earned Franzen a National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Corrections, his third novel, was getting good reviews and selling well when Oprah Winfrey announced she had selected it as her "book of the month." Franzen's response was less than enthusiastic and he became known as the guy who snubbed Oprah Winfrey's television book club.Franzen currently resides in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- *1988 Whiting Writers' Award *1996 Granta's Best Of Young American Novelists *2001 National Book Award for ''The Corrections'' *2001 New York Times Best Books of the Year *2001 Salon Book Award (Fiction) *2001 New York Times Best Books of the Year for ''The Corrections'' *2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist (Fiction) *2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner (Fiction) for ''The Corrections'' *2002 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist *2011 Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Fiction for ''Freedom''