Jonathan Franzen is an American novelist and essayist. Since his debut novel, The Twenty-Seventh City in 1988, he has been writing brilliantly about the unraveling of the American Dream in its many permutations. In his novels The Corrections, Freedom, and the forthcoming Purity, Franzen tackles difficult subjects and complex characters, in a style marked by his Midwest upbringing and his unique brand of social criticism. Franzen is also the author of five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away and The Kraus Project. His work has won numerous awards, including the Nation Book Award for The Corrections. In 2010, he was named a “Great American Novelist” by Time Magazine. Franzen lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.
Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me and Mendocino and Other Stories, and two bestselling novels, Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier. Her newest novel is The Children’s Crusade. Packer’s short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and in the O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies, and her novels have been published around the world.