Have a Drink with Jonathan Lethem


Jonathan Lethem will be very busy on Wednesday. First, he'll appear at the Brattle to discuss his new essay collection. But dude's like a freight train -- he don't stop. After signing books, he'll pop over to Charlie's for an afterparty being thrown by Jaime Clarke of Newtonville Books to celebrate their collaboration, Conversations with Jonathan Lethem. The party, like the bar, is open to the public.

This event made me start thinking about drinking with authors. Don't be too jealous when I tell you this is something I have done. The best / worst drunken author encounter I've ever had was this summer at a cocktail party, during which I met a certain defamed critic who got fired for making comments on his own pieces under a made-up name. This story really grabbed me; I thought it was the strangest thing ever. How did such a deeply silly person get so far in the first place? I spent so much time trying to figure out the psychology of commenting on your own articles under a made-up name that, in my mind, this critic had become something both more and less than human, sort of like an object lesson or a Lorrie Moore character. Anyway, I ran into him after I had one too many martinis, got really nervous, and started gushed insincerely about how much I admire his writing (I'm kind of neutral toward it). He sort of glared at me, then I ran away. Eeek!

Anyway, don't you do that to Jonathan Lethem, OK? He seems like a really nice person.

JONATHAN LETHEM | The Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge | November 9 @ 6pm | $5 | 617.661.5515 or

JONATHAN LETHEM AFTERPARTY | Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St., Cambridge | November 9 @ 8pm | 617.244.6619 or

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