Okay, this time it’s not a pug on the cover of Time Magazine. It’s novelist Jonathan Franzen.
So why is a blogger who writes about pugs doing a post on him? Simple, I once had the honor of meeting Mr. Franzen. It took place in 2000, right before his novel The Corrections came out. An excerpt from the novel had already appeared in the The New Yorker, though, and I had read it and been impressed.
At the time I was taking a writing class at the Writer’s Voice in NYC with Sheila Kohler, another excellent writer. For our last class, Ms. Kohler invited everyone to dinner at her apartment, which was near to Lincoln Center. Well, I’d never had a teacher cook a dinner for her class so of course I accepted. And I was glad I did. Not only did we consume a superb meal, with dessert we were treated to a serving of Jonathan Franzen, a friend of Ms. Kohler’s who dropped by to chat with us. On the cusp of being famous, he was more than generous with his time, and came across as a modest and generally all around nice guy. I kept that impression when the Oprah Winfrey hoo-ha broke. (Ms. Winfrey disinvited him from her show after he did or did not make certain comments about her book club.)
The occasion of the Time article is his latest novel, Freedom. I, for one, am looking forward to reading it–even if it turns out that no pug appears in its pages.