The Ecstasy of Influence Summary and Reviews

The Ecstasy of Influence

Nonfictions, Etc.

by Jonathan Lethem

The Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem X
The Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2011
    480 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

What's a novelist supposed to do with contemporary culture? And what's contemporary culture sup­posed to do with novelists? In The Ecstasy of Influence, Jonathan Lethem, tangling with what he calls the "white elephant" role of the writer as public intellectual, arrives at an astonishing range of answers.

A constellation of previously published pieces and new essays as provocative and idiosyncratic as any he's written, this volume sheds light on an array of topics from sex in cinema to drugs, graffiti, Bob Dylan, cyberculture, 9/11, book touring, and Marlon Brando, as well as on a shelf's worth of his literary models and contemporaries: Norman Mailer, Paula Fox, Bret Easton Ellis, James Wood, and others. And, writing about Brooklyn, his father, and his sojourn through two decades of writing, Lethem sheds an equally strong light on himself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In a tsunami of literary and cinematic references, familiar and obscure, Lethem easily rises to the surface as a brilliant, incisive essayist who loves to sing the body eclectic." - Publishers Weekly

"Absorbing reading for the smart set." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Inevitably a mixed bag, but with high ambitions and a strong sense of purpose." - Kirkus Reviews

"Peppery nonfiction... thoughtful and rambunctious... dynamically juxtaposed and connected... [a] fresh, erudite, zestful, funny frolic in the great fields of creativity." - Booklist

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Author Information

Jonathan Lethem Author Biography

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. He currently teaches creative writing at Pomona College in California.

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