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FROM THIS EPISODE

Jonathan Franzen's latest book, Purity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), is an exploration of intensely intimate relationships and the inevitability of their destructive effects. Franzen calls it a bruising book, containing secrets, shame, and guilt. But, despite the dark subject matter, he talks about the necessity to provide some warmth in its writing or face readers' regret. On the subject of writing, Franzen declares Purity among the most plotted and revised novel he's ever done, saying it was "wrestled to the ground." He also talks about his desire to inject humor into it and all of his writing in general.

(Note: this is a rebroadcast of an interview that originally aired on October 8, 2015.

Read an excerpt from Purity.

Photo: Connie Alvarez

Purity

Jonathan Franzen

Guests:
Jonathan Franzen, novelist, @therealfranzen

Producers:
Connie Alvarez
Alan Howard

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