Jonathan Franzen Loses Book Award To Some Lady


Accomplished novelist Jennifer Egan won the National Book Critics Circle Award for her fascinating, innovative book A Visit From the Goon Squad. But one newspaper seemed more concerned with who didn’t win: namely, Jonathan Franzen.

So obsessed was the LA Times with Franzen’s non-winning that it used a photo of him to illustrate its coverage of the award, rather than a pic of, say, the person who actually won. The caption, too, is a bit odd:

Jonathan Franzen, pictured above at a September event in Los Angeles, lost to Jennifer Egan’s “A Visit From the Goon Squad.” Franzen’s publicized novel “Freedom” lost to Egan’s innovatively structured work about characters involved in the music industry.

This makes it sound like the real news is not that Egan won, but that Franzen lost. The award is long-deserved for Egan, who has been turning out consistently stellar books since the nineties (and in case you’re wondering what she looks like, that’s her at left). Franzen’s Freedom is a captivating novel in its own right, but as the Times‘s Carolyn Kellogg points out, it’s already been “widely publicized” — on the day of Egan’s triumph, it’s a shame the LA Times couldn’t focus its coverage on her.

Egan Beats Franzen In National Book Critics Circle’s Fiction Prize [LA Times]

Jennifer Egan image via

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