Synopses & Reviews
One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss. At the age of 13 Pella Marsh loses her mother and her home on the scorched husk that is planet Earth. Her sorrowing family emigrates to the Planet of the Archbuilders, whose mysterious inhabitants have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneel—
and a civilization that and frightens their human visitors.
On this new world, spikily independent Pella becomes as uneasy envoy between two species. And at the same time is unwilling drawn to a violent loner who embodies all the paranoid machismo of the frontier ethic. Combining the tragic grandeur of John Ford's The Searchers and the sexual tension of Lolita and transporting them to a planet light years, Girl in Landscape is a tour de force.
"[T]his lyrical, often far-fetched meditation on the founding myths of the 21st century remains thoroughly rooted in an emotional world much closer to home." Publishers Weekly
"A cool, quirky, and oddly compelling coming-of-age story that raises questions that linger long after the book is read." Booklist
"[I]ngenious and unsettling....Wonderful stuff. One waits eagerly to learn where Lethem will take us next." Kirkus Reviews
"Girl in Landscape is, really, a perfect little book innovative, intelligent, surprisingly moving (your heart will lurch a bit at passages you never saw coming), and utterly inventive, it also sheds new light on the loss of innocence and other sacrifices that come with becoming an adult. Whether or not you're a fan of Lethem's other work, this book should not be missed." Jill Owens, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Anyone who wonders why Jonathan Lethem is the only novelist to be included among Newsweek
's "100 People for the New Century" need only read his deliriously original new book, a science fiction/Western that combines the tragic momentum of The Searchers
with the sexual tension of Lolita
At the age of 13, Pella Marsh emigrates with her family to the Planet of the Archbuilders. These enigmatic aborigines have names like Lonely Dumptruck and and Hiding Kneel and a civilization that baffles and frightens their human visitors.
As the spikily independent Pella becomes an uneasy envoy between two species, Girl in Landscape deftly interweaves themes of exploration and otherness, loss and sexual awakening.
About the Author
Jonathan Lethem was born in New York and attended Bennington College. He is the author of the novels Gun, with Occasional Music; Amnesia Moon; and As She Climbed Across the Table; as well as a collection of short stories, The Wall of the Sky the Wall of the Eye. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Read an exclusive essay by Jonathan Lethem