The Quiet Alternative

by Zoe Pollock

Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom, is getting a lot of deserved buzz (I've read it – it's fantastic). He recently (and reluctantly) recorded an author video where he disparaged having to make an author video. He explained:

This might be a good place for me to register my profound discomfort at having to make videos like this. To me, the point of a novel is to take you to a still place. You can multitask with a lot of things, but you can't really multitask reading a book. You're either reading a book or you're not. To me, the world of books is the quiet alternative, an ever more desperately needed alternative.