Jonathan Lethem

reads from

A Gambler's Anatomy:
A Novel

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
20
Thursday
October 20, 2016
6:30 PM

Location

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes novelist JONATHAN LETHEM, the New York Times bestselling author of Dissident Gardens and Motherless Brooklyn, for a discussion of his latest book, A Gambler's Anatomy.

About A Gambler's Anatomy

The author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a devilishly entertaining novel about an international backgammon hustler who thinks he’s psychic. Too bad about the tumor in his face.

Handsome, impeccably tuxedoed Bruno Alexander travels the world winning large sums of money from amateur “whales” who think they can challenge his peerless acumen at backgammon. Fronted by his pasty, vampiric manager, Edgar Falk, Bruno arrives in Berlin after a troubling run of bad luck in Singapore. Perhaps it was the chance encounter with his crass childhood acquaintance Keith Stolarsky and his smoldering girlfriend Tira Harpaz. Or perhaps it was the emergence of a blot that distorts his vision so he has to look at the board sideways.

Things don’t go much better in Berlin. Bruno’s flirtation with Madchen, the striking blonde he meets on the ferry, is inconclusive; the game at the unsettling Herr Kohler’s mansion goes awry as his blot grows worse; he passes out and is sent to the local hospital, where he is given an extremely depressing diagnosis. Having run through Falk’s money, Bruno turns to Stolarsky, who, for reasons of his own, agrees to fly Bruno to Berkeley, and to pay for the experimental surgery that might save his life.

Berkeley, where Bruno discovered his psychic abilities, and to which he vowed never to return. Amidst the patchouli flashbacks and Anarchist gambits of the local scene, between Tira’s come-ons and Keith’s machinations, Bruno confronts two existential questions: Is the gambler being played by life? And what if you’re telepathic but it doesn't do you any good?

Praise

"Lethem's 10th novel is a romp in which history, both personal and collective, can't help but assert itself . . . Think Thomas Pynchon, especially in the scenes set in Berkeley, a landscape of hipster burger shops and lost souls still longing for a revolution that washed out in an undertow of drugs and dissolution decades before. [A] fitting follow-up to Dissident Gardens (2013) . . . Lethem takes real pleasure in the language and writes with a sense of the absurd that illuminates his situations and his characters . . . In this tragicomic novel, nothing is ever exactly as it seems." —Kirkus, starred review

Jonathan Lethem
Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Dissident Gardens, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn; three short story collections; and two essay collections, including The Ecstasy of Influence, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Lethem's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times, among other publications.

Photo credit: Jerry Schatzberg

Find transportation and parking details here. On arrival at the library, take the elevator down to the Lecture Hall.

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

This event will take place at the Main Branch of the Cambridge Public Library (in the Lecture Hall), located at 449 Broadway in Cambridge. Seating and elevator access to the lecture hall begins at the noted "doors" time.

A 70-car underground parking garage with access from Broadway is available when the library is open. It costs 25 cents for every 15 minutes of parking. You may pay by using quarters or credit card (Mastercard or Visa).

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
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FAQ:

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Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
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