Author Jonathan Lethem created a huge fan base with the rich, imaginative fiction of Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude, books that catapulted him to the heights of the literati. But he let us down with You Don't Love Me Yet, a hollow, ill-conceived, spare yet clunky paean to the loves and life of a Los Angeles indie-rocker circa 2007; the book also uprooted Lethem from his usual stamping grounds: Brooklyn.
Now the Brooklyn native has staged a homecoming with Chronic City. Kind of. Rather than sticking east of the East River, Chronic City is a novel wholly of Manhattan, one that reaches back to the conceptual sprawl of some of Lethem's earlier work. From the corridors of power to the lonely corners of the soul, he recasts Manhattan in an image that perhaps only a Brooklynite can muster. In any case, it's already being heralded as a return to form after the mild disappointment and misguided hipsterism of You Don't Love Me Yet. The author will sign and read from Chronic City tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue. For more info, call 303-322-7727 or visit www.tatteredcover.com.
Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., 2009