RSS
Jonathan Franzen on 'Oprah': 'A public kiss and make up'?
Nine years after their famous feud, the queen of talk and the acclaimed author make peace
What did Jonathan Franzen learn from his 2001 tiff with Oprah? "To have more respect for television."
What did Jonathan Franzen learn from his 2001 tiff with Oprah? "To have more respect for television."
Screen shot
T

he video: Nine years after Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Franzen's highly publicized feud — she picked his book, The Corrections, for her book club; he called some of her previous picks "schmaltzy"; she dis-invited him from her show — the two have cleared the air. Franzen appeared briefly on Oprah's show yesterday to talk about his latest bestseller, Freedom, and to address the past incident. Oprah said "I barely remember," and Franzen recalled, "I spoke in very long sentences, and little pieces of those sentences sounded bad, and your feelings were probably understandably hurt." Was the proverbial hatchet buried?
The reaction: "Oy." Oprah only gave Franzen nine minutes of airtime, says Macy Halford in The New Yorker. But, "a few minutes into the segment, I understood why... Oprah and Franzen are not terribly compatible personalities... they could not speak to each other, inhabitants as they are of different worlds." Yes, "the two were a little tense" when they talked about their past "sorta feud," says Keith Staskiewicz in Entertainment Weekly. And, Franzen was "commendably not-quite-contrite" about the whole affair. As I saw it, says Willa Paskin in New York, he "sweetly and somewhat sheepishly explained himself." It was "a public kiss and make up." Watch an ABC News report with a clip from the show, below:

 

 

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week