By Jonathan Lethem
A stunning novel from certainly one of our most interesting writers—an epic but intimate kinfolk saga approximately 3 generations of all-American radicals
At the guts of Jonathan Lethem’s marvelous new novel stand amazing ladies: Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed pink Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist who savages acquaintances, relations, and political comrades with the ferocity of her character and the absolutism of her ideals. Her precocious and willful daughter, Miriam, both passionate in her activism, flees Rose’s effect to include the dawning counterculture of Greenwich Village.
those ladies forged spells over the boys of their lives: Rose’s aristocratic German Jewish husband, Albert; her cousin, the feckless chess hustler Lenny Angrush; Cicero Lookins, the intense son of her black cop lover; Miriam’s (slightly fraudulent) Irish folksinging husband, Tommy Gogan; their bewildered son, Sergius. improper and idealistic, Lethem’s characters fight to inhabit the utopian dream in an the USA the place radicalism is considered with bemusement, hostility, or indifference.
because the many years pass—from the parlor communism of the ’30s, McCarthyism, the civil rights move, ragged ’70s communes, the romanticization of the Sandinistas, as much as the Occupy circulate of the moment—we come to appreciate via Lethem’s terribly shiny storytelling that the private could be political, however the political, much more so, is personal.
Lethem’s characters may well pursue their fates inside historical past with a capital H, yet his novel is—at its enthralling, beating heart—about love.
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Additional info for Dissident Gardens
Intense, bleak novels of the early 19605, such as The Dark Light Years (1964), Greybeard (1964), and Earthworks (1965), were succeeded by a trio of formal and linguistic experiments in An Age (1967), Report on Probability A (1968), and Barefoot in the Head (1969), which consciously appliedJoycean experimentation in its depiction of a drug-fuelled war. The Malaria Tapestry (1976) parodies the aristocratic, entropy-choked cityscapes of the far future; Moreau's Other Island (1980) develops the theme of H.
In Killing Floor (1979), the poem 'The Kid' assumes the voice of a boy-murderer who methodically and pathologically destroys his entire family only to emerge sweet-faced and apparently undisturbed. Sin (1986) attempts a yet more complex series of personae—ruminations, for the most part, of men of power, from the Kennedy brothers to Joe McCarthy to Robert Oppenheimer, although in 'The Good Shepherd: Atlanta 1981' the speaker, chillingly, is the anonymous mass-murderer of Atlanta's black youth. Fate: New Poems (1991) offers a gallery of characters, notably General George Custer, Mary Jo Kopechne, Elvis Presley, Lenny Bruce, and Lyndon Johnson.
The Shaping Spirit (1958), a discussion of modern English and American poetry, was the first of his critical works. Subsequent studies include The School of Donne (1961) and The Savage God (1971), which contained his controversial treatment of the suicide of Sylvia *Plath; Beyond All This Fiddle (1968) is a collection of his essays. He edited the widely read anthology The *New Poetry (1962) and The Faber Book of Modern European Poetry (1992). His poetry collections include The End of It (1958), Apparition (1971), and Autumn to Autumn and Selected Poems 1953-1976 (1978).