This Jonathan Franzen Troll Is the Perfect Way to Start the New Year

In a setup that would not look out of place in fiction, Jonathan Franzen, the bestselling American novelist, has said he once considered adopting an Iraqi war orphan to help him understand young people better, but was persuaded against it by his editor. Franzen said he was in his late 40s at the time with a thriving career and a good relationship but he felt angry with the younger generation. ?Oh, it was insane, the idea that Kathy and I were going to adopt an Iraqi war orphan. The whole idea lasted maybe six weeks.? It’s only January 3, but we already have the year’s first great troll.

Aside from being an award-winning author (of The Corrections and Purity, among others) Jonathan Franzen is also a vocal critic of social media. He called Twitter “unspeakably irritating” and bragged about the fact that he seals the ethernet port on his computer and wears noise cancelling headphones while writing to avoid online distractions.

Franzen has been criticized not only for these statements, but also for his approach to race—after he revealed in 2015 that he considered adopting an Iraqi orphan so he could understand young people better, Twitter called Franzen a tone deaf white savior.

As such, when a rumor about Franzen and the internet began circulating on Twitter, we initially thought it was too good to be true.

But indeed, when you type the address ciswhitemale.com into a browser (we tested it on Google Chrome and Firefox) it redirects to the Facebook fan site for the reclusive author.

Well, this is awkward.

Franzen’s Facebook page hasn’t been updated since September, and after this troll his publisher probably won’t touch it for a while. Screenshot

The Facebook page is also the first result when you search the URL on Google.

"Did you mean cis white male?" In a way, yes.

“Did you mean cis white male?” Screenshot

The Observer has reached out to the owner of the domain ciswhitemale.com, and will update this post if they respond.

This Jonathan Franzen Troll Is the Perfect Way to Start the New Year