Jonathan Lethem '86

Image of Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem ’86 is a MacArthur “Genius Grant”-winning novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, published in 1994, mixed elements of science fiction and detective novels. Continuing in the genre-bending approach for which he is best known, Motherless Brooklyn from 1999 won a National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was named book of the year by Esquire, turning him into what The New York Times called “something of a hipster celebrity.” His semi-autobiographical bildungsroman The Fortress of Solitude became a New York Times bestseller in 2003 and was named by the paper one of nine “editor’s choice” books of that year. In all, he has published eight novels, as well as story collections, comic books, and essays, proving both his prolific output and his versatility.

Photograph © Fred Benenson