Jonathan Lethem Weighs “Dissident Gardens” and Jersey Homesteading

Jonathan Lethem’s writing has come a long way: from the Boerum Hill, Brooklyn of his award-winning novels “Motherless Brooklyn” and “The Fortress of Solitude” to the exotic settings of Queens, Manhattan, and even New Jersey in his newest book, “Dissident Gardens.”

In the author’s ninth novel (the prolific Lethem is also known for his essays, music criticism, and short stories), he follows several generations of a family engaged with the counter-culture, from Communists to Occupy-ers. This excerpt picks up early on – though the story of a young couple setting out to become suburban farmers may feel quite contemporary.