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Jonathan Franzen’s feuds

Four of the author's most memorable controversies

By Alex Dean  

© AP Photo/Stuart Ramson, File

In this month’s Prospect Elaine Showalter reviews Purity, the new novel by Jonathan Franzen—he is, she says, “a man with talent to burn.” But Franzen is almost as good at sparking controversies as he is at crafting sentences. Here are four of the most memorable:

Cat among the pigeons

Franzen is a keen birdwatcher and in April this year suggested that tackling climate change quickly is incompatible with protecting birds, who are being killed by structures like wind turbines built to tackle…

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