An 'Embarrassed' Jonathan Franzen Says He Knows Few Blacks | NBC New York

An 'Embarrassed' Jonathan Franzen Says He Knows Few Blacks

Author Celeste Ng tweeted that Franzen showed a "failure of writing and of humanity

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    File image of novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen during a speech at the 22th Budapest International Book Festival at Millenaris Culture Center in Budapest, Hungary on April 23, 2015.

    Award-winning novelist Jonathan Franzen has an admittedly uncomfortable reason for why he doesn't expect to write a book about racial relations: He doesn't know many blacks.

    In an interview that appeared last weekend on Slate.com, the author of "The Corrections" said he had few black friends and had "never been in love" with a black woman. He called his comments "an embarrassing confession."

    Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME

    Franzen's remarks were widely criticized, with National Book Award finalist Angela Flournoy tweeting that Franzen's books were indeed "about race," if only because they expressed a white perspective.

    Author Celeste Ng tweeted that Franzen showed a "failure of writing and of humanity." In response, Joyce Carol Oates suggested Franzen's detractors "cast the first stone" and write "stronger novels than J.F." Oates called that the "best revenge."