Virtual Event: Jonathan Franzen in conversation with Jami Attenberg for CROSSROADS

Square Books is pleased to partner with Farrar Straus & Giroux and fellow indie bookstores BookPeople, Lemuria Books, Tattered Cover Bookstore, and Watermark Books & Cafe to present Jonathan Franzen in conversation with Jami Attenberg in celebration of the publication of Franzen's novel Crossroads.

This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of Crossroads. 

The first 50 purchasers will receive a signed first edition of Crossroads. We will send you a link and unique password to access the event ahead of the event.


Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.

It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.

Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and for their keen-eyed take on contemporary America. Now, in Crossroads, Franzen ventures back into the past and explores the history of two generations. With characteristic humor and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that resonates powerfully with our own.

A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, its action largely unfolding on a single winter day, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.

"Crossroads is Franzen’s greatest and most perfect novel to date.”

“Funny, sad, [and] unputdownable.”
Vanity Fair

“A compelling examination of faith, privilege and ambition.” 


 “Franzen’s intensely absorbing novel is amusing, excruciating, and at times unexpectedly uplifting—in a word, exquisite.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 “A sweeping and masterly examination of the shifting culture of early 1970s America . . . Irresistible.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 "I can’t wait to read what happens next.”
BookPage (starred review)

 "[A] masterful, Tolstoian saga . . . Franzen is in rarified peak form.”
Booklist (starred review)

 "Franzen pens complex, densely layered characters . . . with America’s heartland functioning as a stage.”

Library Journal (starred review)


About the Author

Jonathan Franzen is the author of five novels, including The Corrections, Freedom, and Purity, and five works of nonfiction, most recently Farther Away and The End of the End of the Earth, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.

About the Host

Jami Attenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of seven books of fiction, including The Middlesteins and All Grown Up. She has contributed essays to the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, and Longreads, among other publications. She lives in New Orleans.


Crossroads: A Novel By Jonathan Franzen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374181178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021


Purchase of the Crossroads grants you access to our exclusive 10/14/21 Virtual Event with Jonathan Franzen & Jami Attenberg

Event date: 
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 7:00pm
Zoom Webinar
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