All posts tagged: Dylan Ebdus

The ‘Whiteboy Brooklyn Novelist’ Grows Up

The ‘Whiteboy Brooklyn Novelist’ Grows Up

Jonathan Lethem had come back to Brooklyn, and I wanted to know why. One afternoon a few months ago, he took me to Dean Street, the block in Boerum Hill where he grew up in the ’70s. The area is the setting of his 2003 book (and one of my favorite novels), The Fortress of Solitude, and of his new one, Brooklyn Crime Novel. I was raised in Brooklyn too, some 15 years after Lethem, and he remains, among my childhood friends and I, somewhat of a literary patron saint: the Brooklyn boy who did us proud by immortalizing our borough in contemporary fiction. He was given a hero’s welcome by the literary establishment after publishing Motherless Brooklyn, in 1999, and again after Fortress. But I say “somewhat” because after that, he left town. Both literally—he relocated to Maine and eventually to the West Coast—and in his literature. We old Brooklynites have a high tolerance for crimes, but we consider desertion one of the most egregious. Though he’s written six novels since Fortress, he has …