invented the hipster comic-book-loving nerdy smart guy in 1996, long before we had a president wielding a light saber on the White House lawn. The prizewinning author of Motherless Brooklyn
, The Fortress of Solitude
and a bevy of short fiction and essays that stick like cling wrap will be at Left Bank Books (399 Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com
) tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss his new novel Chronic City
. Lethem pays homage to (but doesn't imitate) Philip K. Dick, he of the telepathically communicating satellites and men out of time, and there's also an air of post-contemporary Dickens to his work, if only for the granite character names: Lionel Essrog, Mingus Rude and now Chronic City's Chase Insteadman. A former child star who wanders through a mad and gleefully complicated Manhattan, Insteadman pines for his girlfriend, who is currently trapped on the International Space Station. Admission to this evening's reading is free.
Tue., Nov. 10, 2009