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HOW TO BE ALONE: ESSAYS - Scarce Fine Copy of The First Hardcover Edition/First Printing: Signed by Jonathan Franzen

Franzen, Jonathan

Published by New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002
ISBN 10: 0374173273 / ISBN 13: 9780374173272
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Title: HOW TO BE ALONE: ESSAYS - Scarce Fine Copy ...

Publisher: New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition.

Description:

1st Printing. Signed. 278 pages. Published in 2002. The author's debut collection of essays. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jonathan Franzen's "How To Be Alone". Fourteen impassioned essays on the inner life, the very real need to cultivate solitude and to preserve one's personal values amid the distractions and corruptions of mass-media culture. Includes Jonathan Franzen's two most celebrated essays thus far, "Why Bother?" and "My Father's Brain". The former was originally published in Harper's Magazine as "Perchance To Dream", the author's landmark literary manifesto-essay. The latter originally appeared in The New Yorker Magazine, and was turned into Franzen's very first Limited Edition production by a British fine press. "Urges readers to say no to drugs, but not the pharmaceutical kind. His opiates are those technology offers in the form of TV, pop culture, and endless gadgetry, soporifics that are addictive, and in the long run only make society's problems worse. Franzen is just as hard on intellectual conformity, on academe's canonization of third-rate but politically correct novels. As a serious artist, he knows that the deck is stacked against him. After all, a great novel is a kind of anti-product, one that is 'inexpensive, infinitely reusable, and worst of all, unimprovable'. The problem is that instead of being allowed to enjoy our solitary uniqueness, we are all being turned into one gigantic, corporate-created entity" (Publishers Weekly). "To be" and "To be alone" are, finally, one and the same thing. But contemporary culture deliberately equates solitude with loneliness: If you're alone, then you must be lonely. It doesn't follow, but the correlation is drilled on a daily basis by mass-media culture: If you're watching TV, you are not alone, television is (or is like) your cozy, dependable, and constant companion. How to be alone? Read. This book, among others. An absolute "must-have" title for Jonathan Franzen collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Jonathan Franzen. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. It comes with a copy of the Souvenir Program, which is beautifully produced, of the event during which his signature was obtained. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws or are subsequent printings yet command as much as $200. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce signed copy thus. Selected by The New Yorker Magazine as one of "Twenty Writers for the 21st Century", a selection that was prescient because he had not written anything in almost a decade. Winner of the National Book Award in 2001 for "The Corrections". One of the finest American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JONATHAN FRANZEN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0374173273. Bookseller Inventory # 20310

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Synopsis: Passionate, strong-minded nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections was the best-loved and most-written-about novel of 2001. Nearly every in-depth review of it discussed what became known as "The Harper's Essay," Franzen's controversial 1996 investigation of the fate of the American novel. This essay is reprinted for the first time in How to be Alone, along with the personal essays and the dead-on reportage that earned Franzen a wide readership before the success of The Corrections. Although his subjects range from the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each piece wrestles with familiar themes of Franzen's writing: the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America. Recent pieces include a moving essay on his father's stuggle with Alzheimer's disease (which has already been reprinted around the world) and a rueful account of Franzen's brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.

As a collection, these essays record what Franzen calls "a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance--even a celebration--of being a reader and a writer." At the same time they show the wry distrust of the claims of technology and psychology, the love-hate relationship with consumerism, and the subversive belief in the tragic shape of the individual life that help make Franzen one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social critics.

Review: Jonathan Franzen is smart and brash, the kind of person you want as your social critic but not as a brother-in-law. Many of the 14 essays in How to Be Alone, by the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Corrections, first appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and elsewhere. A long, much-discussed rumination on the American novel, (newly) titled "Why Bother?," is included, as well as essays on privacy obsession, the U.S. post office, New York City, big tobacco, and new prisons. At his best, as in "My Father's Brain," a piece on his father's struggle with Alzheimer's, Franzen can make the ordinary world utterly riveting. But at times, it can be difficult to discern where Franzen stands on any particular subject, as he often takes both sides of an argument. Valid attempts to reflect ambiguity s! ometimes lead to obfuscation, especially in his essays on privacy and tobacco, although his belief that small-town America of years gone by offered the individual little privacy certainly rings true. Franzen can write with panache, as in this comment after he watched, without headphones, a TV show during a flight: "(It) became an exposé of the hydraulics of insincere smiles." A few of the shorter pieces appear to be filler. Franzen shines brightest when he gets edgy and a little angry, as in "The Reader in Exile": "Instead of Manassas battlefield, a historical theme park. Instead of organizing narratives, a map of the world as complex as the world itself. Instead of a soul, membership in a crowd. Instead of wisdom, data." --Mark Frutkin, Amazon.ca

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Store Description: ModernRare.com is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: info@modernrare.com We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!