Jonathan Lethem's "Dissident Gardens"

Sep 20, 2013

Jonathan Lethem is one of America’s finest novelists. His critically acclaimed books include "Motherless Brooklyn," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, "Fortress of Solitude" and “Chronic City."

Lethem’s nonfiction work includes a long interview with Bob Dylan and a marvelous profile of James Brown, both for Rolling Stone magazine. Lethem’s latest novel "Dissident Gardens" is about American Communists and leftists. 

The human impulse to throw yourself into history with an attitude that it could matter, that you can change things and that you'll sacrifice for this, is very universal. It's an impulse that becomes misused or betrayed or conflicted in so many different ways, and this book becomes a catalog of all those different kinds of disappointment. — Lethem

Ross Reynolds talks to Lethem about his latest novel, writing, politics and music.

Produced by Arwen Nicks.