Purity Tyler, the young woman at the centre of Jonathan Franzen’s masterly fifth novel, is looking for her father. Purity (she calls herself Pip) was raised by her mother in a cabin in the San Lorenzo Valley in Northern California, but her true origins are a mystery: her mother, a hypochondriac hippie devoted to a great spiritual “endeavour”, will only say that she changed her name and ran away just before Pip was born. “She...
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