NPR logo Lethem Leaves 'Repulsive' Brooklyn

Lethem Leaves 'Repulsive' Brooklyn

Farewell, gritty NYC streets. Hello, palm trees! Vintage hide caption

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"Brooklyn is repulsive with novelists, it's cancerous with novelists."

It's too good a quote not to lead with it. Jonathan Lethem, he of the Valentine to New York City, Fortress of Solitude and Chronic City, has left his beloved borough to take the late David Foster Wallace's former position at Pomona College in sunny California. If part of you is thinking "What?!" take heart — he wrote most of Fortress from Toronto, and is excited to tackle his new home's mystique.

It may be the dreamscapes that are the most meaningful to his new life in Southern California — having read everything by Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, having watched the movies of John Ford. "I've always been, in a way that was almost despite myself — or unconscious, uninvited — interested in the projections of Southern California," Lethem says.

Sounds good to me — really good. And, after all, it'll offer him some distance from the horde in Brooklyn, and the pack of Jonathans. Read more at the Los Angeles Times.