Spiritual Successor to The Corrections – Crossroads reviewed in The Guardian

September 26, 2021

The pastor’s family at the heart of Franzen’s sixth novel – a bravura examination of the mores of liberal America in 1971 – are his most sympathetic creation to date

The characters in Jonathan Franzen’s sixth novel exist in that much-disputed no man’s land between hip and square, in the culture wars of 1971. Since The Corrections, 20 years ago, Franzen has made himself the modern master of that fundamental driver of the 19th-century novel, the understanding that all happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Here, his never less than acute attention falls on the interior lives of the Hildebrandt family in small-town Illinois in the run-up to Christmas.


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