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Three renowned authors will be featured during Spring 2012 University Lectures

February 17, 2012

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Jonathan Franzen, award-winning author of “The Corrections” and “Freedom,” will kick off the 2012 University Lectures series at Syracuse University on Tuesday, March 6. Franzen is the first in a trio of noted authors—including Zadie Smith and Terry Tempest Williams—who will speak as part of the University Lectures series this semester.

franzenFranzen will present “On Autobiography and Fiction Writing: An Evening with Jonathan Franzen” beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public. Reduced-rate parking is available in the Irving Garage. CART and sign language interpretation will be available during the presentation.

When “The Corrections” was published in the fall of 2001, Franzen was probably better known for his nonfiction than for the two novels he had already published. In an essay he wrote for Harper's in 1996, Franzen lamented the declining cultural authority of the American novel and described his personal search for reasons to persist as a fiction writer. Five years later, “The Corrections” became an international bestseller and won Franzen the National Book Award.

Franzen’s most recent novel, “Freedom,” was published in 2010. In August of that year, Franzen was featured on the cover of Time magazine—only the second time in the last decade that a living writer has been on the cover of this national magazine. “Freedom” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was chosen later that year as one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2010.

The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the Writing Program in The College of Arts and Sciences.

The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or to receive additional information about the University Lectures series, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at 443-2941 or More information can be found on Facebook at

This semester, other guests will include Smith (March 20); and Williams, in conversation with Professor Don Mitchell (March 29).

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