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.