Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is an American author, known for his genre-bending work that often crosses the boundaries between science fiction, noir, and literary fiction. He is best known for his novels 'Motherless Brooklyn', which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and 'The Fortress of Solitude'. Lethem's work is characterized by its explorative themes, including identity, dislocation, and cultural nostalgia.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Fortress of Solitude

    The novel follows the lives of two boys growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1970s. Despite their racial differences, one being white and the other black, they form a deep friendship bonded by their shared interest in comic books, music and a magical ring that grants them superpowers. As they grow older, their paths diverge due to their racial and societal differences, with one becoming a successful music journalist and the other succumbing to a life of crime. The book is a profound exploration of race, identity, friendship and the impact of gentrification.

  2. 2. Motherless Brooklyn

    The novel follows Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette's Syndrome, as he navigates the rough streets of Brooklyn to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna. Despite his condition, Lionel's obsessive mind proves to be a valuable asset in uncovering the truth about Frank's death, leading him through a maze of secrets, corruption, and betrayal within the Brooklyn underworld. The book is a compelling blend of mystery, humor, and an exploration of the human condition through the eyes of a uniquely gifted protagonist.

  3. 3. Chronic City

    "Chronic City" is a novel by Jonathan Lethem that follows the life of Chase Insteadman, a former child actor who has become a socialite in Manhattan. The story takes place in a surreal version of New York City where a mysterious fog has settled over the city and strange events occur. Along with a cast of eccentric characters, including a cultural critic, a reclusive author, and a giant tiger, Chase navigates the complexities of love, friendship, and the meaning of reality in a world that seems to be constantly shifting.