Review of “Dissident Gardens.”

My review of Jonathan Lethem’s newest novel, Dissident Gardens, is now available on the Journal-Star’s web site. I believe it was also in last Sunday’s paper. The short version of the short review: Lethem, an author of nine novels, may be one of the best American sentence writers: his descriptions pop, and he finds endlessly […]

New York Times’ 100 Notable Books.

It’s getting to be my favorite time of the year—at least as far as book lists go. The New York Times’ notable “100 Notable Books” is the monarch of lists, and it’s a good one. I can recommend several titles on the list, a few of which I’ve reviewed before: Fiction A Constellation of Vital […]

Jonathan Lethem on Envying Other Writers.

I’m getting through the long Paris Review interview with Jonathan Lethem, in the wake of finishing his excellent new novel Dissident Gardens. It’s not exactly timely or new, but still relevant: INTERVIEWER What about envying other writers? LETHEM Every human life includes moments of rage at unrecognition. We’re all injustice collectors. But that’s not the truth […]

Dissident Gardens.

Whenever I can grab my review copy, I am excited to read Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens—even after a somewhat mixed review by Ron Charles at the Washington Post. Charles writes that Lethem “is almost magically adept at pushing the current action into the background and letting a character’s unmoored thoughts travel freely through the past.” Lethem’s […]