Cowell Commencement 2012 Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Franzen

February 27, 2012

Cowell College is honored to have award-winning author and journalist Jonathan Franzen as the Cowell Commencement 2012 keynote speaker.

Jonathan Franzen is the author of four novels— The Twenty-Seventh CityStrong Motion, and The Corrections, and Freedom — a collection of essays, How to Be Alone, and a personal history,The Discomfort Zone.  His latest book, Farther Away, will be published in May 2012. Freedom won the Heartland Prize and the John Gardner Prize in 2011, and The Corrections won the National Book Award in 2001 and the James Tait Black Award in 2003 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the IMPAC/Dublin Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Franzen is also a regular contributor of journalism and essays to The New Yorker magazine.  His other honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and to the German Academy of the Arts.  A Fellow of Cowell College, he lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California, where he has been a part-time resident since 1999.