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Get Lit with All Of It: Jonathan Lethem

Get Lit with All Of It

Originally Aired: Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Watch a live video stream as Alison Stewart, host of WNYC’s All of It, continues her virtual book club series with Jonathan Lethem. 75 Dollar Bill also performs a special set for the event.

This holiday season, All of It joins in the New York Public Library’s Love Letter to New York series by reading the quintessential New York classic Motherless Brooklyn, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette’s syndrome, across the city as he hunts for his mentor’s killer. 

They’ll also discuss Lethem’s newest novel The Arrest, a genre-bending story of a world where technology no longer works.

Viewers are encouraged to submit their questions for the author on Twitter and Instagram.

Once again, All Of It teams up for this event with the New York Public Library so that New Yorkers can access the book for free through the NYPL app.

How it Works

  • Get the book, reach out to a friend to join, and read along with Alison and Team All Of It
  • Follow @allofitwnyc on Instagram where you’ll find polls, questions, fun facts and pictures of other readers
  • Watch the live video stream here on this page as Alison talks with the author
To help us send love to New York City, we’re teaming up with Lincoln Center. Senior Director of Artistic Programming Jordana Leigh will discuss how their programming has changed to fit the pandemic and share news about their initiative “Love From Lincoln Center,” celebrating New York’s frontline healthcare workers and other essential workers. Plus, we’ll hear a performance from New York Philharmonic violinist Kuan Cheng Lu.

Photo provided by guest

Jonathan Lethem was born in New York and attended Bennington College. He is the author of seven novels including Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger.

He has also written two short story collections, a novella and a collection of essays, edited The Vintage Book of Amnesia, guest-edited The Year’s Best Music Writing 2002, and was the founding fiction editor of Fence magazine. His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney‘s and many other periodicals.

He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Photo provided by guest

75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in NYC by Rick Brown and Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s elemental rhythms are the foundation and foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape shift from joyful dance tunes to slowly changing trance minimalism, an un-categorizable hybrid which draws on the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, early electric blues, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, they frequently draw on an extended community of players live and on record, appearing here in “family band” formation with Sue Garner on bass and Talice Lee on violin.


Lights from Lincoln Center, December 10, 2020. Photo by Sachyn Mital.

Join Alison Stewart, host of WNYC’s All Of It, alongside bestselling authors and fellow book lovers on the air and online for this new book club series. We’ll read books and share our progress on Instagram, and Alison will talk with a marquee author during a live video stream event.


We know that New Yorkers need to feel a sense of community and fun, even as we remain apart. And that’s why we are excited to announce that the New York Public Library is partnering with WNYC to present a virtual stay-at-home book club experience!

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