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Jennifer Weiner on Jonathan Franzen: “His hands aren’t as clean as he’d like to believe”

Jonathan Franzen has spoken out again on his reputation. The "Freedom" novelist, promoting new translation "The Kraus Project," told Scratch that he strives (despite a critical rap in certain circles for a problem with women that stops short of the serious charge of misogyny) to be balanced in his writing, reading, and creation of characters. "I am a male animal, and there’s nothing I can do about that. I can’t stop writing and disappear just because someone chooses to project onto me her grievance with a million years of sexist human history."

Given that Franzen had previously criticized "Jennifer-Weinerish self-promotion," it seemed reasonable that this remark, too, might be a subtweet of the novelist Weiner, one of his persistent critics. We reached out to Weiner, an outspoken defender of the set of books commonly known as "commercial fiction," via email and she responded.

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