The Discomfort Zone : A Personal History Paperback
A brilliant personal history from the award-winning author of 'The Corrections'.
Jonathan Franzen, bestselling author of 'Freedom' and the highly acclaimed 'The Corrections', arrived late, and last, in a family of boys in Webster Groves, Missouri. 'The Discomfort Zone' is his intimate memoir of his growth from a 'small and fundamentally ridiculous person,' through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions.
It's also a portrait of a middle-class family weathering the turbulence of the 1970s, and a vivid personal insight into the decades in which America took an angry turn away from its mid-century ideals.
He tells of the effects of Kafka's fiction on Franzen's protracted quest to lose his virginity, the elaborate pranks that he and his friends orchestrated from the roof of his high school, his self-inflicted travails in selling his mother's house after her death, the web of connections between his all-consuming marriage, the problem of global warming, and the life lessons to be learned in watching birds. Sparkling, daring and arrestingly honest, 'The Discomfort Zone' is warmed by the same combination of comic scrutiny and unqualified affection that characterize Franzen's fiction.
It narrates the formation of a unique mind and heart in the crucible of an everyday American family.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 02/07/2007
- Category: Biography: literary
- ISBN: 9780007234257
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Review by geertwissink
The protagonist is hard to identify with, but there is a lot to laugh on some pages and there's a nice analysis of cartoons (Charlie Schulz Peanuts) and Franz Kafka. A lot of other pages are hard to get through. The protagonist ends up as a birdwatcher, maybe that's the main theme of the book: someone who looks at birds from a distance instead of flying his own wings.