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Hear Egan, Franzen talk books

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com

Two titans of contemporary American fiction are in Austin this week.

Tonight, the Michener Center for Writers presents Jennifer Egan, author of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "A Visit From the Goon Squad." Egan reads and takes some questions at 7:30 p.m. At Avaya Auditorium, (ACES 2.302) on the UT campus. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.utexas.edu/academic/mcw.

Jonathan Franzen, one of America's most famous and feted literary novelists, joins novelist and critic Lev Grossman for an evening of conversation Friday night at Bass Concert Hall.

Franzen is the author of the 2001 international best-selling novel "The Corrections," which won the National Book Award, and last year's literary blockbuster "Freedom," which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. The book went on to win the 2011 John Gardner Prize for fiction and the Heartland Prize.

Grossman is Time magazine's book critic and lead technology writer. (One hopes there will be some discussion of the Internet, of which Franzen wrote in The Guardian: "It's doubtful that anyone with an Internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.") Grossman is also the author of the well-regarded novel "The Magicians" and its sequel, "The Magician King." 8 p.m. $10-$38. www.texasperformingarts.org/season/franzen.