for newyorker.com, | October 1, 2021

Jonathan Franzen Talks with David Remnick, and Broadway Reopens

The novelist on his deliberate evolution away from literary formalism and “po-mo hijinks'; plus, two critics on a record-breaking season for Black playwrights on Broadway.

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Illustration of author Jonathan Franzen with a suburban background behind him
Illustration by Golden Cosmos

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The novelist Jonathan Franzen discusses religion, the ethics of writing characters of a different race, and his deliberate evolution away from literary formalism and “po-mo hijinks.” As Broadway reopens, the theatre critics Vinson Cunningham and Alexandra Schwartz discuss whether the record-breaking number of plays by Black playwrights this season is a sign of things to come or a short-term response to the racial reckoning that began in 2020. Plus, the music critic Amanda Petrusich discusses three tracks from a playlist for a new baby.

Jonathan Franzen Talks with David Remnick About “Crossroads”

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The novelist discusses religion, the ethics of writing characters of a different race, and his deliberate evolution away from literary formalism and “po-mo hijinks.”


Broadway’s Unusual Reopening

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The critics Vinson Cunningham and Alexandra Schwartz discuss whether the record-breaking number of plays by Black playwrights this season is a sign of things to come.


Amanda Petrusich Picks Three Rock Classics for Baby

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It’s hard for a critic to select songs for a person who has never heard music. Petrusich offers picks from Aretha Franklin, Paul and Linda McCartney, and the Velvet Underground.


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