Two years ago, we ran a virtual book club devoted to reading Jonathan Lethem’s novel Chronic City. This fall, Lethem published a new novel, Dissident Gardens, which takes us not to Brooklyn but to Queens, inspired by in part by the apartment that his grandmother had in the borough while he was growing up. The novel depicts the lives of three generations in a family whose life is devoted to the pursuit of Communism in America.
I’ve written a review of the novel for Abu Dhabi’s English-language newspaper, The National, which you can find here.
And because, for length reasons, a few ideas ended up on the cutting room floor, I’ve written a post over at patell dot org expanding my account of the novel’s portrayal of the workings of ideology.
Fans of Chronic City will find a sly nod to that novel in Dissident Gardens in the form of a disparaging review of a folk album by one of the new novel’s protagonists.