The Daily News reported today that Jonathan Lethem’s editor Bill Thomas has said that the author’s next book is a “family epic” set in Sunnyside Gardens, Queens. This is just the latest bit of news that’s come to be perceived as a slight against the borough that made the “Bard of Boerum Hill” famous, at least in the tabloids.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Mr. Lethem would soon leave Brooklyn to become the Roy Edward Disney Professor in Creative Writing at Pomona College in California, a post formerly held by David Foster Wallace. The honor was not well received. “Who knows, maybe he’ll miss the Gowanus Canal and come back to us when he gets tired of… La-La Land, ” Marty Markowitz told the Post.
The frustration, or whatever you’d call it, is understandable — this is the man who served as Brooklyn’s cultural ambassador to The Guardian — but it’s not like Mr. Lethem even lives in the city full-time anyway. Are people worried they won’t be able to find another writer based in Brooklyn?