On the streets of 1970s Brooklyn, a daily ritual goes down: the dance. Money is exchanged, belongings surrendered, power asserted. The promise of violence lies everywhere, a currency itself. For these children, Black, brown, and white, the street is a stage in shadow. And in the wings hide the other players: parents; cops; renovators; landlords; those who write the headlines, the histories, and laws; those who award this neighborhood its name.
The rules appear obvious at first. But in memory's prism, criminals and victims may seem to trade places. The voices of the past may seem to rise and gather as if in harmony, then make war with one another. A street may seem to crack open and reveal what lies behind its glimmering facade. None who lived through it are ever permitted to forget.
Written with kaleidoscopic verve and delirious wit, Brooklyn Crime Novel is a breathtaking tour de force by a writer at the top of his powers. Jonathan Lethem, "one of America's greatest storytellers" (Washington Post), has crafted an epic interrogation of how we fashion stories to contain the uncontainable: our remorse at the world we've made.
Jonathan Lethem is the bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Arrest, The Feral Detective, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. He currently teaches creative writing at Pomona College in California.
Lethem will be in conversation with Alix Lambert. Lambert has directed and produced three feature length documentaries: The Mark of Cain,Bayou Blue, and Mentor. She was a writer on the HBO show Deadwood and a writer / producer on John from Cincinnati. She is the author of Crime, The Silencing, and Courtroom. Courtroom was staged at Joe’s Pub, Feb. 2022.