Jonathan Franzen’s body of work—particularly 2001’s The Corrections—is so strong that it’s hard to believe he’s only released four novels and three non-fiction collections since his first novel, 1988’s The Twenty-Seventh City. The author has now announced the follow-up to 2010’s massively successful Freedom. Set for publication by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September, Purity is “a multigenerational American epic that spans decades and continents.” Sound familiar?
But Jonathan Galassi, Farrar’s president and publisher, promises Franzen won’t just retread old ground in Purity. “There’s a kind of fabulist quality to it,” he said. “It’s not strict realism. There’s a kind of mythic undertone to the story.”
The five-year layoff since Freedom might seem long, but Franzen hasn’t had less than eight years between novels since he released his second one in 1992. [The New York Times]
Next time zombie hordes are on your tail, pull up Buzzfeed’s new interview with Margaret Atwood. The esteemed author gave tips for surviving a zombie apocalypse, and they’re pretty great. Because “zombies can’t climb,” Atwood advised victims head for the top of the Empire State Building. She thinks Twitter would be the most useful social network (“People are going to want news, not photos of your baby.”) and said her weapons of choice would be “long-handled garden tools.” [Buzzfeed]
If he’d been in New York City this weekend, Herman Melville wouldn’t have believed his eyes. While Moby-Dick sold only 3,715 copies during Melville’s life, now the novel some hail as the greatest in American history has its own marathon. The second Moby-Dick Marathon NYC saw 150 readers of different stripes gathereing to honor Melville and his magnum opus. When [spoiler alert] Ishmael finally sights the whale, the crowd cheered. Maybe classic literature has a future as a spectator sport. [The Guardian]
Earlier this year, Mo’ne Davis made history as the first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game. At just 13, Davis blanked her opponents—and has since thrown out the first pitch at a professional World Series game, starred in a Spike Lee-directed car commercial, and donated her jersey to baseball’s Hall of Fame. She’ll soon add “author” to her resume when she releases Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name via HarperCollins in March. [AP]