Jonathan Franzen has a way of making people mad. When his last novel, The Corrections, was picked by Oprah Winfrey for her book club, Franzen made it known that he was not comfortable with the populist honor — so Oprah withdrew the offer. This time around a couple of best-selling female writers, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, have tweeted their disdain for what they see as critical fawning over Franzen's new novel, Freedom.
Weiner has even come up with a phrase to describe her feelings: Franzenfreude. "Schadenfreude is taking pleasure in the pain of others," Weiner says. "Franzenfreude is taking pain in the multiple and copious reviews being showered on Jonathan Franzen."
But her angst is not just about the book — or even about Franzen himself. It's about the establishment choosing one writer and writing about him again and again and again," Weiner says, "while they are ignoring a lot of other worthy writers and, in the case of The New York Times, entire genres of books."