On 20 September 2005 Jonathan Allen Lethem received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “genius grant”. Accolades do not come much higher for a writer, yet for many years Lethem's career had appeared to be taking a different course. Following his father, Richard Brown Lethem, he devoted his creative energies to visual art from an early age. He attended the High School of Music and Art in New York, producing paintings he now dismisses as “glib, show-offy, usually cartoonish” (Post Road). At Bennington College, Vermont, in 1982, Lethem realised not only that his radical, bohemian upbringing in multicultural Brooklyn made it difficult to relate to the privileged white kids all around him, but also that he really wanted …
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Peacock, James Harvey. "Jonathan Lethem". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2009
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