Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem’s twelfth novel, The Arrest, was published by Atlantic in 2021. Brooklyn Crime Novel is due in 2023.

My Year of Reading Lemmishly

Jonathan Lethem, 10 February 2022

June​ 1978. A boy and his grandmother travelled on the A train to the New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle. She was a trustee of the Queensboro Public Library, with comp tickets for a regional conference of the American Library Association; he was a 15-year-old science fiction fan.

The convention hall’s exhibition booths featured lots of plastic slipcovers and display racks, as well as...

Diary: Theatre of Injury

Jonathan Lethem, 15 December 2016

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar./i feel like I am so incredibly ill-equipped to deal with any of this./i’m taking blind advice from all comers without feeling like anything is remotely adequate./ i feel nostalgic for all of life before Nov 8, 2016.’

Diary: My Marvel Years

Jonathan Lethem, 15 April 2004

“In Marvel’s greatest comics, Lee and Kirby were full collaborators who, like Lennon and McCartney, really were more than the sum of their parts. Kirby always wanted to drag the Four into the negative zone – deeper and psychedelic science fiction and existential alienation – while Lee resolutely pulled them back into the morass of human lives, hormonal alienation, teenage dating problems, pregnancy and unfulfilled longings to be human and normal and not to have the Baxter Building repossessed by the City of New York.”

Diary: My Egyptian Cousin

Jonathan Lethem, 12 December 2002

I grew up in a Brooklyn neighbourhood with more brown faces than white. So it was thrilling and consoling – not only righteous but intuitively right – that splashing around alongside us paler kids in the motel pool in Maryville, Missouri, during those 1970s family reunions, were my dark Egyptian cousins, Randa and Amir. And, by the poolside, arguing politics with my World War Two veteran uncles, and with my outspoken radical Jewish mother, was their growly, bearded, imperious and quite lovable father, Saad.

The Amazing …: My Spidey

Jonathan Lethem, 6 June 2002

An overnight success in the making for nearly forty years, Spider-Man had been in the making in the mind of the child sitting behind me (at an 11 o’clock show at a multiplex in Brooklyn on 3 May, the earliest possible viewing for a member of the general public) for several months before the film’s opening, at least. Perhaps six years old, the child showed in its involuntarily...

Trying to make sense​ of Jonathan Lethem’s fiction as a whole is something of a fool’s errand: there is no easily discernible line from the early hipster science fiction to his...

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The early​ 21st century brought a new type of American novel. Its best-known practitioners – all men of the same generation, born in the mid to late 1960s – are Michael Chabon,...

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White Boy Walking: Jonathan Lethem

Evan Hughes, 5 July 2007

When Jonathan Lethem was born, in 1964, his mother had dropped out of college and was piercing ears with a pin and ice-cube in Greenwich Village, where she ran with a crowd of folksingers...

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Jonathan Lethem’s novels tend to be fusions of genres. As She Climbed across the Table (1997) is a science-fiction campus novel; Girl in Landscape (1998) an SF western. Gun, with Occasional...

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On the Make: Jonathan Lethem

Thomas Jones, 6 September 2001

In Gun, with Occasional Music, the erasure of the individual memory is the final stage in a process that began with the elimination of the public record, of newspapers and books. Lethem’s dystopia is...

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