Author Jonathan Lethem gets the work up: A profile AND Michiko review in the Times today. The reason? His new book, Fortress of Solitude, his first since his National Book Critics Circle-winning, Motherless Brooklyn. Ah, the Doubleday publicists are earning their keep.

2003_9_fortress.jpgThe profile examines Lethem's Brooklyn roots, in the pre-gentrified days of Smith Street, when blacks and Puerto Ricans were the dominants groups and whites were a small minority - made up of socially-minded (read: hippie) types, and how that is the foundation for Fortress; reporter Diane Cardwell also calls him a hipster celebrity. Michiko Kakutani calls Fortress, "dazzling but fundamentally flawed...with many defects, but a novel that nonetheless attests to [Lethem's] potent storytelling talents." Gothamist will take a very strong mixed review as a good sign, especially since we think Michiko's reviews are a bit wacky anyway. Salon's Peter Kurth thinks that Fortress places Lethem in the "first rank" of American authors.

The Observer on Lethem's and other hipsters' enjoyment of Mafia parties. And Ed Norton is looking to adapt, direct, and probably star in a film of Motherless Brooklyn.