Skip to content


In Partnership with Inprint

With Jonathan Lethem and Fred Barney Taylor

Nov 11, 2018, 04:00 PM Museum of Fine Arts Houston $12.00 Get Tickets

This is event is in partnership with Inprint and Jonathan Lethem is presented as part of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series on Monday, November 12, 7:30 pm, Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston, to read from his new novel The Feral Detective. For more information click here.  

This portrait of Jonathan Lethem, recognized as one of America’s foremost contemporary writers (Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude), features those who have impacted the writer’s life—from his oldest friend, Michael Seidenberg, a bookseller whose bookshops were stocked with books that he would rather not sell; his younger brother Blake, a legendary graffiti writer; his father, Richard Brown Lethem, a well-known painter; and his good friend Hampton Fancher, the screenwriter and producer of the Blade Runner films. Using both the urban landscapes of New York and images of the American road from Maine to California as visual correlatives for Lethem’s books, the film suggests the array of cultural influences that inform the author’s life and work.

Country, Year United States, 2018
DirectorFred Barney Taylor
Runtime91 MINS, 00 SECS
Event TypeFilm
Special Guests

Jonathan Lethem

Celebrated for his novels, short stories and essays, Jonathan Lethem is recognized today as one of America’s foremost contemporary writers. His works include nine novels, five short-story collections, six non-fiction books and an array of essays published in such publications as Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine and The New Yorker Magazine. His novel Motherless Brooklyn was named Novel of the Year by Esquire magazine and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger. Fortress of Solitude is perhaps his best known novel.

Lethem makes no secret of his influences. His first published novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, riffed on the hard-boiled detective fiction of Raymond Chandler. He has written an academic novel in the style of Don Delillo (As She Climbed Across the Table), and crossbred E.M. Forester’s Passage to India with John Ford’s film The Searchers, transporting the Western to an alien world in Girl in Landscape. He’s even written about “the ecstasy of Influence,” reminding us that no creative act arrives ex nihilo—it’s all, like his own work, a product of influences and appropriations, conscious and not.

Fred Barney Taylor

Fred Barney Taylor has received international recognition at festivals and screenings for his work in film and television, including his 2013 feature The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany. He directed the Travel Channel series Great Writers/Great Cities, which showcased cities as seen through the eyes of contemporary writers including, “Paco Taibo’s Mexico City” (narrated by Edward James Olmos); “Iain Sinclair’s London;” “Carl Hiaasen: From Miami to Key West” with music and narration by Warren Zevon, and “New York Underground,” with Luc Sante´, Samuel R. Delany, David Rieff,  and Fran Lebowitz. Taylor was a Senior Faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, New York City for ten years and an annual visiting professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing (1993-1999).