Lucky Alan and Other Stories
The King of Sentences”
“The King of Sentences” is from Jonathan Lethem’s new collection, LUCKY ALAN AND OTHER STORIES (Doubleday, 2015). Lethem is the author of three story collections and nine novels, including most recently Dissident Gardens. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and his stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times, among others. He lives in California.
Lethem’s new collection of nine stories demonstrates his mastery of the form. Readers of Lethem will recognize familiar themes: the anxiety of influence taken to reductio ad absurdum in “The King of Sentences”; a hapless, horny outsider summoning bravado in “The Porn Critic”; characters from forgotten comics stranded on a desert island in “Their Back Pages.” Lethem’s humor and poignancy work in harmony and humans strive desperately for connection.
Praise for the collection:
“Lethem is, of course, a king of sentences…. Lethem works in an interesting literary space between realism and absurdism, modernism and postmodernism, satire and a particular brand of DeLillo-inspired darkness…. His talent is large and, as these stories demonstrate, his eye is as sharp as ever.”
– New York Times Book Review
“Jonathan Lethem’s imagination seemingly knows no bounds…. Comparisons might be drawn to writers ranging from Jorge Luis Borges and Haruki Murakami to Margaret Atwood and J.D. Salinger.”
– Chicago Tribune
“Rewards await the reader who commits to this slim volume…. Lucky Alan is a beguiling addition to a shelf full of uniquely inventive books by a master of genres with a legitimate claim to the much-contested throne.”
– The Miami Herald
“[A] great introduction to the sometimes heartbreaking, often surreal world of Jonathan Lethem…”
“Mr. Lethem is a nimble and resourceful writer.”
– Michiko Kakutani, New York Times