Author Jonathan Franzen's Glasses Stolen, Ransomed
By Zach Dionne Posted Oct 5th 2010 12:41PM
According to TheBookseller.com, two men gatecrashed a launch party for Franzen's ultra-buzzy novel 'Freedom,' claiming to work for Puffin Books. They subsequently approached the 51-year-old author, grabbed his glasses off his face, and handed him a note before fleeing into London's Kensington Gardens.
The brief note read, "$100,000 -- Your glasses are yours again!" A Hotmail address was left.
One of the burglars was swiftly apprehended in bushes outside the gallery. John Bond of Press Books said, "Franzen got his glasses back and will not be pressing charges as he sees it all as a harmless prank."
A London bookstore, The Big Green Bookshop, fraudulently listed "Franzen's" glasses on Ebay, resulting in some news outlets reporting the gag as fact.
Franzen, no stranger to controversy after Oprah rescinded an invitation for him to appear on her show after selecting his 2001 opus 'The Corrections' for her book club, had a tumultuous week leading up to the glasses caper. Part of his trip to the UK was to address a series of typesetting errors in the British version of 'Freedom'; he was also late for a BBC interview after a taxi bailed on him.
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