The cover story in Time this week is by me. It’s a profile of Jonathan Franzen, a novelist who is of great interest to me.
The Corrections was kind of a totem for me while I was writing The Magicians. It was a transitional love object, like a teddy bear — I didn’t like to write without my copy of it handy.
That and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I put one on one side of my desk, one on the other, and wrote The Magicians in the weird magneto-literary field they generated between them.
Franzen has a new novel coming out, his first since The Corrections, which was in 2001. (Weirdly it came out practically on September 11th.) It’s called Freedom. It’s good. Franzen writes in a close-third-person style that basically to me is the state of the goddamned art for literary prose.