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J. Robert Lennon

Author of Mailman

27+ Works 1,686 Members 68 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

J. Robert Lennon is the author of "The Light of Falling Stars" & "The Funnies". He lives with his wife & children in Ithaca, NY. (Bowker Author Biography)

Works by J. Robert Lennon

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 700 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 238 copies
Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the World (2004) — Composer — 229 copies
Granta 87: Jubilee! The 25th Anniversary Issue (2004) — Contributor — 201 copies
Granta 85: Hidden Histories (2004) — Contributor — 171 copies
Granta 82: Life's Like That (2003) — Contributor — 146 copies
Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature (2016) — Contributor — 109 copies
McSweeney's Issue 3: Windfall Republic (1999) — Contributor — 95 copies
Granta 151: Membranes (2020) — Contributor — 43 copies
Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth (2008) — Contributor — 37 copies
Super Stories of Heroes & Villains (2013) — Contributor — 24 copies
Gigantic Worlds (2015) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Paris Review 192 2010 Spring (2010) — Contributor — 5 copies
Outlook Springs Issue 2 (2016) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



There's something great about reading a novel by an author you trust, isn't there? This book is by J. Robert Lennon, so I started off thinking that I was going to enjoy a wild ride that would surprise me a few times, and it turned out I was right. Jane is a mother in her mid-thirties, married and working as administrative assistance at the same college her father teaches at, which lets her keep an eye on him. She's worked hard to build this ordinary existence, and then a single email from her twin sister throws it all into the air. It all has to do with her mother, who disappeared decades ago and had not really been around much when Jane was a child and she and her sister developed [Harriet the Spy]-level skills to try to figure out what was going on with her. Moving back and forth from her childhood to her teen years to Jane's present day, the story is both a thriller with a lot going on and a nuanced look at the relationships between mothers and daughters. It looks like this is the first of a planned series and I will be reading every single one of them.… (more)
RidgewayGirl | 1 other review | Apr 11, 2024 |
George Saunders meet Tim Burton. Bakemono, quantum entanglement, meatloaf brownie. Probability wells and the Dead Tower. Cylvia charging in the light before being born in your purse. We think we know what happened but we’re not entirely clear.

lelandleslie | 10 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
Lila and Jane are twin sisters who have a very challenging childhood, mostly because of emotional neglect from their parents. And then their mother disappeared completely out of their lives.. The sisters drift away from each other as they reach adulthood until one day Lila contacts Jane out of the blue via a bygone secret code they used as children. Lila says she knows where their mother is and wants Jane to join her in finding her even though it means disrupting her carefully planned and dull life. Jane agrees and then the cat and mouse action begins and doesn't stop. This was an interesting story, however it did not keep me on the seat of my chair like I thought it would. The narrator was good. I would give this a 3 star rating.
Thank you to Net Galley and Hachette Audio, Mulholland Books for a chance to read/listen the an ARC version of this story.
… (more)
erinclark | 1 other review | Feb 7, 2024 |
Short stories again, although the subtitle of the book is "100 Anecdotes." Each of the anecdotes/stories is in the first person, and usually related from a great distance, so they feel very mythic, and each is at most a few pages long. In the intro, we are told that the narrator is 47 years old, and lives in a farmhouse near a college town in rural New York, and, "what he enjoys is being alone, telling himself stories," stories which are "ephemeral," and "protean." The stories are presented in thematic sections, and I thought I'd quote from one story from each thematic section (in some cases, the quote will in fact be the whole story):

Town and Country
"For more than a century the main street in our town was named after a founding father of our state, a man who in a recent revisionist essay was revealed to have been a corrupt, bigoted philanderer who beat his children and disliked dogs. After a string of protests disrupted rush hour traffic, our mayor took down the street signs and promised to rename the street. But loyalists protested the removal and the signs were restored. Further protests again eliminated the signs, and the battle has moved to the courts. Meanwhile, our town's main street has no name at all, confusing visitors, complicating deliveries, and making us the butt of vicious jollity from other, less volatile neighboring towns."

Mystery and Confusion
"Owing to the inefficiency of our plumbing, I am obliged not to wash the dishes while my wife is having a shower. And because we have only one telephone line, I am unable to make calls while my wife is corresponding via e-mail. Therefore, today when my wife was in the shower, I felt that I could not use the phone."

Lies and Blame
"A tree that grows on the property line between our land and our neighbor's land for years served as a playground for the children of both families and was happily considered a share asset, to be maintained and enjoyed by all. But recently the tree was uprooted during a storm, and crushed a passing car. The resulting law suit has led to a property dispute, a flood of certified letters, and the complete dissolution of our friendship."

Work and Money
"In the pocket of a pair of long-forgotten pants I was preparing for donation to Goodwill, I found a ten dollar bill. This pleased me until I realized that the bill was worth less than when I put it into my pocket many years ago. As a gift to my future self, and in a bet against inflation, I added a second ten dollar bill to the pocket and replaced the pants in the back of the closet."

Parents and Children
"When my wife was pregnant with each of our children, I imagined their future appearance and demeanor. It was young men that I imagined, but my wife gave birth to daughters. Today, when I see my grown daughters, I often have the strong but incorrect impression that I have someone I would like them to meet, and realize that it is the imaginary men I thought they might become to whom I want to introduce them, and with whom I believe they would really hit it off."

Artists and Professors
"Our friend, a sculptor, has told us that sculpture cannot be taught; rather it can only be experienced. Similarly, another friend, who is a writer, told us that it is impossible to teach anyone to write; the writer must learn by doing. Presented with the comments of the other, each insisted that only he himself was correct, the writer stating that sculpture was an elitist and wholly artificial endeavor, whose existence depended solely on its institutional perpetuation, and the sculptor insisting that writing, far from being a true art, was a purely academic exercise. Each man heads the department dedicated to his specific field at our local university."

Doom and Madness
"When a local apartment fire claimed the lives of 37 people, I was shocked and appalled. Later, when several residents were discovered to have been out of town, and the number of dead was revised to 29, I was somewhat relieved. At the same time, I felt faintly betrayed and disappointed, and wished that my grief and sympathy for the eight additional victims and their families had not gone to waste."

These samples should give you a taste of whether this would be something you would be interested in reading.

3 stars
… (more)
arubabookwoman | 6 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |



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