A photo of Jonathan Franzen.

Tomorrow Talks with Jonathon Franzen: Crossroads


Join ASU’s TomorrowTalks with Jonathan Franzen Wednesday, October 5th at 6pm AZ time. TomorrowTalks is a student-engagement initiative meant to put students in conversation with authors who explain how they use their writing to address society’s most pressing issues. TomorrowTalks is led led by the Division of Humanities at ASU and hosted by ASU’s Department of English in partnership with Macmillan Publishers.

This event takes place over Zoom and is free, although registration is required. Franzen will be discussing his book Crossroads, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His book is set in December of 1971, and it examines a Midwestern family in the midst of a moral crisis. With careful attention to each of the family members, he interweaves their perspectives into a tale of suspense and complexity.

Thank God for Jonathan Franzen . . . With its dazzling style and tireless attention to the machinations of a single family, Crossroads is distinctly Franzen-esque, but it represents a marked evolution . . . It’s an electrifying examination of the irreducible complexities of an ethical life. With his ever-parsing style and his relentless calculation of the fractals of consciousness, Franzen makes a good claim to being the 21st century’s Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Jonathan Franzen has written six novels. He has won a variety of awards: the National Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Award, the Heartland Prize, and others. Visit his website to read more about him.

To learn more about TomorrowTalks and register for the event, go here.

Literary Event: Sherman Alexie at the Tempe Center for the Arts

As part of Project Humanities launch week festivities, they will be holding an event at the Tempe Center for the Arts on Monday, February 7th at 7 p.m.  The keynote speaker for the event will be author, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie and he will speak on the topic “People, Places and Stories.”

Alexie, currently residing in Seattle, Washington, bases much of his writing on his experiences as a Native American. Some of his best known works are a book of short stories entitled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1994), the film Smoke Signals, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, an autobiographical novel for young adults.

In 1999, Alexie was named as one of The New Yorker’s top 20 writers of the twenty-first century. In 2007, Alexie was awarded the National Book Award prize for Young People’s literature for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Last year Alexie won the PEN/Faulkner Award for War Dances, the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award, and was the recipient of the Puterbaugh Award and holds the distinction of being the first American to receive the award.

The event takes place February 7th at 7 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway Tempe, AZ. 8528. Parking is free for guests in the lot adjacent to the facility. No tickets are needed for this event; seating is on a first come first serve basis. Guests may arrive at 6 p.m. and doors to the theater will open at 6:30 p.m.