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This May, the Vox Book Club is studying Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, one of many loveliest and most prescient novels of the 2000s. It follows two motherless boys rising up within the Brooklyn of the Nineteen Seventies, one Black and one white. As Lethem tracks the intimate rise and ugly fall of their friendship, he provides a fraught and painful love letter to New York earlier than the endemic gentrification of the Nineteen Nineties: the graffiti, the music, the violence.
Fortress of Solitude comprises multitudes. It is an evocation of a childhood each lawless and idyllic, a portrait of a connection between two boys that runs deeper than friendship, a clear-eyed depiction of America’s repeated de-investment from after which appropriation of Black New York, and a condemnation of the misplaced dream of the Nineteen Seventies. The entire guide is written in Lethem’s cool, measured prose, the rhythm of each sentence exactly calibrated. Also, there are superheroes.
Join the Vox Book Club as we spend May going again in time to discover The Fortress of Solitude. At the top of the month, we’ll meet Lethem dwell on Zoom, and you may RSVP right here. In the meantime, subscribe to the Vox Book Club publication to ensure you don’t miss something.
The full Vox Book Club schedule for May 2022
Friday, May 20: Discussion publish on Fortress of Solitude printed to Vox.com
Tuesday, May 31, 5 pm ET: Virtual dwell occasion with writer Jonathan Lethem. Reader questions are inspired!