Jonatham Lethem's singular writing is some of the most exciting fiction being published today. Constantly taking risks, Lethem is that rare postmodern writer whose work is experimental and dazzling, yet manages to retain a strong and heartfelt emotional core, avoiding the easy paths of irony and cynicism. Though his surreallistic landscapes are at first foreign to us, his writing succeeds through an image patterning that makes the most implausible story seem believable because he immerses you so thoroughly in his world. His writing consistently defies the impulse to label and categorize by bending and recreating familiar genres to come up with a style that is all his own.
In his new novel, Girl in Landscape, fourteen-year-old Pella Marsh and her family flee a decaying, post-apocalyptic Brooklyn for the frontier of a recently discovered planet. Repulsed by an ineffectual father and reeling from a simultaneous attraction and hatred towards the xenophobic homesteader, Ephram Nugent, Pella's journey is totally compelling. Full of resonating metaphors and playful language, Girl in Landscape is a moving portrait of sexual awakening and a brilliant homage to the American frontier tale.
In this issue of Bold Type you'll find an interview, an original essay, an excerpt from the new novel, and an exclusive reading by the author.
Photo of Jonathan Lethem copyright © Mary Faye Lethem
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