Jonathan Lethem's picture

Jonathan Lethem

USA flag (b.1964)

Jonathan Lethem is the author of As She Climbed Across the Table, Amnesia Moon, and Motherless Brooklyn. He has been listed by Newsweek as one of their '100 People for the New Century'. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
Anthologies containing stories by Jonathan Lethem
Short stories
Walking the Moons (1990)
The Happy Man (1991)Nebula Awards (nominee)
"Forever," Said the Duck (1993)
The Happy Prince (1993)
Mood Bender (1994)
The Insipid Profession of Jonathan Hornebom (1995)World Fantasy (nominee)
Receding Horizon (1995) (with Carter Scholz)
Five Fucks (1996)Nebula Awards (nominee)
How We Got in Town and out Again (1996)
Martyr and Pesty (1996)
Ninety Percent of Everything [short story] (1999) (with James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel)Nebula Awards (nominee)
Genre and Genesis: A Discussion of Science Fiction's Literary Role: Why Can't We All Just Live Together? (2000)

Nebula Awards Best Novellette nominee (1992) : The Happy Man
British Fantasy Society Best Novel nominee (1995) : Amnesia Moon
British Fantasy Society Best Novel nominee (1995) : Gun, with Occasional Music
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1995) : Gun, with Occasional Music
World Fantasy Best Novella nominee (1996) : The Insipid Profession of Jonathan Hornebom
Nebula Awards Best Short Story nominee (1997) : Five Fucks
Dagger Awards Best Novel winner (2000) : Motherless Brooklyn
Nebula Awards Best Novella nominee (2001) : Ninety Percent of Everything [short story]
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2005) : The Fortress of Solitude

Jonathan Lethem recommends
Corrupting Dr Nice (1997)
John Kessel
"Lucid, humane, and mercilessly funny, Corrupting Dr. Nice is a peach. If there could be great date books like there are great date movies, this would be one. Brilliant."
Stranger Things Happen (2001)
Kelly Link
"Kelly Link is the exact best and strangest short story writer on earth that you have never heard of at the exact moment you are reading these words and making them slightly inexact. Now pay for the book."
The Book of Illusions (2002)
Paul Auster
"An enthralling new summit in Paul Auster's art."
Vernon God Little (2003)
D B C Pierre
"Read Vernon God Little not only for its dangerous relevance, but for the coruscating wit and raw vitality of its voice..."
360 Flip (2004)
Molly McGrann
"The book is terrific. I read it in a couple of compulsive gulps, and found [it] vertiginous, tragic and funny."
Trance (2005)
Christopher Sorrentino
"TRANCE will be placed on the very highest shelf of that art which explains the 20th Century to the 21st."
Phone Rings (2005)
Stephen Dixon
"One of the great secret masters."
Remainder (2006)
Tom McCarthy
"A stunningly strange book about the rarest of fictional subjects: happiness."
Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (2006)
Alan DeNiro
"I'm thrilled to see him in bookstores at last."
How the Dead Dream (2007)
(How the Dead Dream, book 1)
Lydia Millet
"One of my favourite contemporary American writers."
One for Sorrow (2007)
Christopher Barzak
"Barzak's sympathy and humor, his awareness, his easeful vernacular storytelling, are extraordinary."
Zeroville (2007)
Steve Erickson
"Erickson is as unique and vital and pure a voice as American fiction has produced."
Lowboy (2009)
John Wray
"John Wray is the Next Wave of American fiction, and Lowboy, his crazy excavation of New York's underground, is brilliant."
Fugue State (2009)
Brian Evenson
"Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing, a true successor both to the generation of Coover, Barthelme, Hawkes and Co., but also to Edgar Allan Poe."
The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard (2009)
J G Ballard
"Ballard is simply a master story writer."
American Fantastic Tales (2009)
Peter Straub
"A stupendous, spellbinding reading experience waiting to be had."
The People Who Watched Her Pass By (2010)
Scott Bradfield
"Bradfield is one of my favorite living writers."
The Complete Novels (2010)
(Sailor and Lula)
Barry Gifford
"Barry Gifford invented his own American vernacular... William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks, and Sun Records rockabilly... to forge the stealth-epic of Sailor..."
420 Characters (2011)
Lou Beach
"Holy sh*t! These are great!"
I Hate the Internet (2016)
Jarett Kobek
"I just got an early copy of [Kobek's] newest, I Hate the Internet, and devoured it he's as riotous as Houellebecq, and you don't need a translator, only fireproof gloves for turning the pages."
Men and Apparitions (2018)
Lynne Tillman
"Lynne Tillman's writing is a bracing, absurd, argumentative, and luminous."
Riots I Have Known (2019)
Ryan Chapman
"Ryan Chapman’s Riots I Have Known joins Rachel Kushner’s Mars Room on the short list of truly remarkable American prison novels. Chapman’s debut is literally riotous: an improbably beguiling, utterly ribald provocation, something like Lenny Bruce’s “Father Flotsky’s Triumph” as retold by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man."
Watching You Without Me (2019)
Lynn Coady
"Watching You Without Me is like a Lorrie Moore book suffering a Patricia Highsmith fever dream. You slide right along on Coady's witty and endearing style, and meanwhile the trap has closed over you without your ever standing a chance."
Pew (2020)
Catherine Lacey
"The mercurial and electric Catherine Lacey has now conjured up an of-the-moment fable of trauma and projection – one part Kaspar Hauser, one part James Purdy, and one part Rachel Cusk. The pages shimmer with implication."
The Last Great Road Bum (2020)
Héctor Tobar
"Héctor Tobar uses every method at his disposal to encircle the facts of the ‘conspicuous gringo’ whose archive landed in his lap. I’m in awe of the results, an alchemical amalgam of tender portraiture and illuminating context, with a voice full of riffs and references, and charming as hell. Tobar can seemingly do anything as a writer; here he bridges fiction and nonfiction effortlessly."
The House Uptown (2021)
Melissa Ginsburg
"Melissa Ginsburg's page-turner is a devastatingly simple trap: characters so beguiling you settle in for a charming coming-of-age fable before realizing the spring is snapping shut on an inexorable and satisfying calamity. The theme is the-past-isn't-dead-it-isn't-even-past, but painted not with Faulkner's heavy hand so much as with the crisp ingenuity of Ross Macdonald."
Dead Souls (2021)
Sam Riviere
"Mordant, torrential, incantatory, Bolano-esque, Perec-ian, and just so explosively written that I had to stop and shake the language-shrapnel from my hair and wipe it off my eyeglasses so I could keep reading."
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu (2021)
Tom Lin
"In Tom Lin’s novel, the atmosphere of Cormac McCarthy’s West, or that of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, gives way to the phantasmagorical shades of Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao, and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. Yet The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu has a velocity and perspective all its own, and is a fierce new version of the Westward Dream. This is a superb novel that declares the arrival of an astonishing new voice."
The First Law of Thermodynamics (2021)
James Patrick Kelly
"Against all law and likelihood, (he goes on) reinventing himself each time out, always questioning the basic premise of what a science fiction story can be, or a James Patrick Kelly story, or a story in the first place."
The Body Scout (2021)
Lincoln Michel
"The Body Scout is a fizzy and brilliant confabulation, an anticorporate extrapolative throwdown that is equal parts Pohl-and-Kornbluth and George Saunders, with loads of heart, a skewed and hilarious language all its own, and the audacity to propose that the New York Mets could win a World Series by competent skullduggery. I devoured it."
Mouth to Mouth (2022)
Antoine Wilson
"Mouth to Mouth is that rarity, a perfect narrative machine, working by its own laws. The cool nervous clarity of the prose enmeshes the reader in a trap of complicity, one snapping shut on narrator and reader at the same instant. Bravo."
The Sidekick (2022)
Benjamin Markovits
"Warm, humane, and tragic...a clasiic American voice."
Another Love Discourse (2022)
Edie Meidav
"Another Love Discourse is an uncategorizable triumph, and a gesture of radical intimacy with the reader, one of which Barthes would be proud."
Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta (2022)
James Hannaham
"As if by means of some mashup of Hubert Selby, Darius James, and Bruce Wagner, James Hannaham's tripwire provocations and dazzling verbal fireworks give way to a fathomless tenderness and remorse. His Carlotta is spectacularly Brooklyn and devastatingly human all the way down to the bone."
The Furrows (2022)
Namwali Serpell
"Namwali Serpell's deep unity of imagery and voice is at the employ of a wild talent for narrative pivot and surprise; what seems at first a meditation on family trauma unfolds through the urgency of an amnesiac puzzle-thriller, then a violently compelling love story. The final pages take flight with visionary intensity. The Furrows is a genuine tour de force."

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