Though it is set in Queens, Pomona College Professor Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel, Dissident Gardens, contains a fun little nod to his SoCal college home. Deep in the novel about “three generations of All-American radicals,” as Lethem is unspooling a bit of background about purist music teacher Harris Murphy, we learn that Murphy was part of the short-lived duo which contributed one song to the anthology LP Live at the Sagehen Cafe.
For those who are decades away from campus life, the Sagehen Cafe is the sitdown eatery in the Smith Campus Center, adjacent to the Coop Fountain.
Lethem says it is the only Pomona allusion he dropped into the book (available Sept. 10), but he did pass along the news that Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, Bleeding Edge (available Sept. 17), also set in New York, contains a brief reference to Pomona College in its first few pages.
Perhaps it is no surprise that Pomona was recently named to Flavorwire’s list of the most literary colleges …
More from the magazine about Jonathan Lethem, Pomona’s Roy Edward Disney ’51 Professor in Creative Writing.