The Fortress of Solitude
By Jonathan Lethem
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375724886, 528pp.)
Publication Date: August 24, 2004
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The Fortress of Solitude is the story of Dylan Ebdus growing up white and motherless in downtown Brooklyn in the 1970s. It’s a neighborhood where the entertainments include muggings along with games of stoopball. In that world, Dylan has one friend, a black teenager, also motherless, named Mingus Rude. As Lethem follows the knitting and unraveling of their friendship, he creates an overwhelmingly rich and emotionally gripping canvas of race and class, superheros, gentrification, funk, hip-hop, graffiti tagging, loyalty, and memory. The Fortress of Solitude is the first great urban coming of age novel to appear in years.
Jonathan Lethem is the author of five novels, including Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Award. He is also the author of the story collection The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye and the novella This Shape We're In. His writings have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, and many other periodicals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Magnificent. . . . [A] massively ambitious, profoundly accomplished novel.” – San Francisco Chronicle
"Glorious, chaotic, raw. . . . One of the richest, messiest, most ambitious, most interesting novels of the year. . . . Lethem grabs and captures 1970s New York City, and he brings to it a story worth telling." --Time
"A tour de force . . . Belongs to a venerable New York literary tradition that stretches back through Go Tell it On the Mountain, A Walker in the City, and Call it Sleep." --The New York Times
“The finest novel of the year, by far, and likely of the past five. . . . Better than a movie, better than a symphony, better than a play, and better than a painting, because it is all of them.” –Austin Chronicle