Thursday, September 15, 2011


When Jonathan Franzen, the popular American author visits the Gothenburg Book Fair  this year, he could devote some time to his hobby of bird watching. I recently discovered a couple of eagles nesting outside this magnificent doorway at the Old Telegraph Building in Gothenburg, built 1912. Earlier this year some lovely swallows were spotted on this fine building.

Image from Gothenburg Book Fair

I first got interested in Jonathan Franzen, lauded as a great contemporary American author, while watching this video that he very reluctantly participated in. I felt sorry for poor Franzen sitting there all forlorn in front of the camera -- like a bedraggled wet dog  forced to take a bath against his will -- protesting against recording this particular video which his publishing contract, no doubt, forced him to make. After registering his protest he chatted on about his book, not cracking a smile. This got me interested and I read and very much enjoyed two of his novels (THE CORRECTIONS and FREEDOM -- only recently translated into Swedish).

The Gothenburg Book Fair's theme is German literature this year. When Jonathan Franzen (who incidentally also speaks German)  comes to Gothenburg, the home of the car maker VOLVO and the publisher LEMONGULCHBOOKS, he will enjoy a charming city and is almost guaranteed anonymity as he is hardly known here yet. Plus there is plenty of Nature around. Maybe there will be some time for bird watching too?

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