Plans to promote Jonathan Franzen's new novel Purity (Fourth Estate, 1st September) include a collaboration with Instagram artist Hey Reilly, a midnight opening on publication day, and an author visit to the UK at the end of September.
Purity, Franzen's first novel since 2010's Freedom, is the story of a young woman's search for her father, and her relationship with a charismatic "outlaw-hero" of the internet, an Assange-like figure, Andreas Wolf. An early review from Benjamin Markjovits in the Independent laments that Franzen is now difficult to review - "The praise and the reaction against the praise have become so extreme that you end up bouncing back and forth between them" - but describes "something thrilling about Franzen's frenzied but at the same time self-mocking and capacious seriousness".
Publicity lined up for the book on publication includes a global first interview in the Guardian "Weekend" section, followed by further interviews in Sunday Times Culture, the Financial Times and Esquire, along with "blanket" review coverage. Meanwhile, from next week Fourth Estate will use a series of films on social media, created in a collaboration with artist Hey Reilly. The films animate the Purity book cover.
The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, north London, is planning an evening dinner event followed by a midnight opening for publication. The bookshop is offering signed copies of the book, a traditional American thanksgiving dinner and drinks, and speakers including author Stuart Evers, for a ticket price of £40. Bookshop co-owner Simon Key said: "There's a buzz whenever there's a new book by Franzen. He takes his time and they tend to be rather spectacularly good. He's got real hardcore fans and I'd like to think there'll be people out there keen to come."
The bookshop held a similar event for Haruki Murakami's most recent novel.
Franzen will visit the UK post-publication (29th September to 7th October) for broadcast interviews and events at the University of East Anglia, Intelligence Squared, the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Waterstones in Manchester, International Literature Festival Dublin's Off the Page series and the Guardian Book Club.