I am beyond excited.
Out of the blue I got an advance copy of Jonathan Lethem's new book, Dissident Gardens.
I've never met him, but I used a quote from Chronic City as an epigraph for Blog Theory. Chronic City is probably my favorite novel ever.
Well, Dissident Gardens came with a hand-written, personal card: "Wanted you to have this one early. With admiration, J.L."
The book is about communism!! (So I am guessing that he maybe knows who I am.)
More specifically, from the back copy:
At the center of Jonathan Lethem's superb new novel stand two extraordinary women. Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist and mercurial tyrant who terrorizes her neighborhood and her family with the ferocity of her personality and the absolutism of her beliefs. Her brilliant and willful daughter, Miriam, is equally passionate in her activism, but flees Rose's suffocating influence and embraces the Age of Acquarius counterculture of Greenwich Village.
As the decades pass--from the parlor communism of the 30s, McCarythism, the civil rights movement, ragged 70s communes, the romanticization of the Sandinistas, up to the Occupy movement of the moment--we come to understand through Lethem's extraordinarily vivid stroytelling that the personal may be political, but the political, even more so, is personal.