Suspend Your Disbelief

Scott F. Parker


Scott F. Parker is the editor of Conversations with Ken Kesey. His other books include Running After Prefontaine: A Memoir and Coffee—Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate (co-edited with Mike Austin).



Essays |

How Big the Bigness Is: Part I

In Part I, Scott F. Parker meditates on Kesey’s influence in and around Eugene. “Everything I knew about Kesey at the time of his death I’d absorbed from the ether of Eugene,” Parker writes. “Being in Kesey’s general proximity was one of my first moments of thinking The World of Events connected at some points with the world outside my window.”

Essays |

The ReCorrections: Part II

In the second part of his essay, Scott F. Parker discusses The Corrections as a key to Franzen’s thoughts on commerce and art, and how this tension led to the controversy surrounding the Oprah Book Club. Parker argues that the deep connection the reader forges with the Lamberts is precisely because of their abiding flaws and loneliness, because Franzen reveals how their struggles are our own.

Essays |

The ReCorrections: Part I

Nearly a decade after publication, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections still looms large in American fiction. The novel, and the controversy surrounding it, have influenced the way we think about issues of family, identity, art, commerce, and the role of the writer. In Part I of “The ReCorrections” Scott F. Parker reveals the impact the book had on him as a reader and why he believes “the mood of The Corrections trumps its plot.” Look for Part II tomorrow.

Reviews |

Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

As the swirl of publicity surrounding Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom begins to settle, Scott F. Parker makes the case for a novel that transcends time and place because it captures them so faithfully. Parker also looks at how Franzen’s difficult characters reveal our own prejudices. Later in the week: Parker looks back at The Corrections, nearly a decade after publication.