Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Chicago Author Jonathan Franzen is eating his words, saying he was "ungracious" to question the inclusion of his novel, "The Corrections," in Oprah Winfrey's book club.
Franzen, a native of the Chicago suburb of Western Springs, said Monday he had sent an e-mail to the television talk show host asking her forgiveness but had not received a reply.
"I'm a Midwesterner, and I'm eager to please," Franzen, 42, told the Chicago Tribune in a telephone interview from his New York apartment.
"To find myself identified with an arrogant New York literary contingent makes me feel very misunderstood," he said.
A spokesman for Winfrey said the host has no plans to reconsider her cancellation of a show featuring Franzen.
Winfrey also canceled the dinner she usually shares with the book club writer.
"Jonathan Franzen will not be on the Oprah Winfrey show because he is seemingly uncomfortable and conflicted about being chosen as a book club selection," Winfrey said in a recent statement.
Winfrey's choice of "The Corrections" for her club was announced Sept. 24 and Franzen had been expected to appear on her show sometime over the next few weeks.
In remarks that appeared in the Oct. 12 edition of The Oregonian, a Portland-based newspaper, Franzen said he had considered turning down the pick, which virtually guarantees hundreds of thousands of sales.
He said was concerned about having the Oprah logo on the cover.
"The Corrections," the story of an alienated Midwestern family, was a best seller before the Oprah selection and more than 500,000 copies now are in print.