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Books

Another ‘big book’ — with big problems — from Jonathan Franzen

A complex drama of cultural politics and family life, Purity fulfils our great expectations of this prize-winning American author — in more ways than one

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

29 August 2015

9:00 AM

Purity Jonathan Franzen

4th Estate, pp.563, £20, ISBN: 9780007532766

Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Purity, comes with great expectations. Its author’s awareness of this fact is signalled by a series of lampoons of writers expected to produce ‘big books’, writers named Jonathan and an assortment of other self-referential gags, but also the fact that its eponymous heroine, Purity Tyler, is nicknamed Pip.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £16 Tel: 08430 600033. Sarah Churchwell teaches at the University of East Anglia and is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby.

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