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Dissident Gardens

Jonathan Lethem

At the center of Lethem’s multigenerational novel about a fractured family of dissidents in Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, New York, are two extraordinary women. Rose Zimmer is a Communist ousted from the party in 1955 because of her relationship with a black policeman. Her daughter, Miriam, embraces the bohemian counterculture of Greenwich Village. Rose and Miriam’s stories are interwoven as the narrative moves back and forth across time and characters, from 1950's McCarthyism to the Occupy movement. A moving satire of American ideology, utopian dreams, and the disillusionment that comes with fervent belief.