Moralist and social critic Jonathan Franzen came to fame with his third novel The Corrections after two novels that received critical approval, but did not earn him a strong readership. The 2001 release of The Corrections was the right book at the right time, and Franzen has been heralded for predicting the frantic, cynical and anxious mood that would dominate American culture following the 9/11 attacks the following year.
The novel focuses on a shattered family, an old couple trying to think about the last time they saw all of their adult children. The story won the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction, the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002.
An interesting debate was sparked between Oprah Winfrey and Franzen when he said controversially of her praise of the book that it might actually hurt the novels readership, indicating that having her choose the book for her book club might make adult male readers less inclined to read the book, leading to a feud between the two celebrities and Oprah's public unselecting the work.