Monday, January 11, 2010

In Which Jonathan Lethem Offers Many Valuable Lessons in Brooklyn Real Estate

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 3:36 PM

I like reading about American politics and art in foreign newspapers—especially the Guardian, the left-wing London rag—for the perspective they offer in the process of introducing the subject to their readers from the bottom up. In this recent profile, a British correspondent walks the streets of Brooklyn with Jonathan Lethem, decoding the hyperlocal implications of Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude—the history of gentrification, the secret borders of microhoods, and what exactly is this "Yoo-hoo" we drink over here—for a British readership. (As I noted when reviewing Chronic City, Lethem is an unparalleled chronicler of New York as an endless overlapping of personal maps.)

The whole piece is quite delightful, for reminding how it felt to read The Fortress of Solitude when Brooklyn was still largely a novelty to me, and its geography mostly arcane, and also for the writer's droll note, which rings true to anyone who's seen Lethem speak, that "Lethem is not a novelist who doesn't know how his books come about, or who dislikes talking about the process." It's also, very briefly, an entirely harrowing article, for this detail:

Lethem now lives... in a one-bedroom walk-up rental...

Seriously? And here I thought that being a prolific novelist with a large devoted readership was worth at least 1 BR convertible to 2.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Mark Asch

  • The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

    Noirs classic and neo, melodrama, vampires, Buñuel, and Diane Keaton in the best outfits in the history of cinema.
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • War Crimes: The Kill Team

    A documentary about American infantrymen who killed civilians offers up a number of suggestive parallels.
    • Jul 16, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

Most Shared Stories

Top Viewed Stories

Top Topics in The Measure

Film (27)


Art (8)


Music (8)


Special Events (6)


Theater (5)


Books (3)


TV (3)


© 2014 The L Magazine
Website powered by Foundation