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Jonathan Lethem: Dissident Gardens

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Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens (Doubleday) chronicles a lost generation of Jewish socialists who lived in Queens in the mid-twentieth century. Lethem’s idealistic iconoclasts believed in civil rights and social justice a decade before the popular protest movements of the 1960’s, yet watched their utopist dreams decline into disappointments. Lethem reflects on his characters’ now-antiquated search for a more just society, and on his own effort to imagine kinship and community with them across generations.