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Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Man in the Dark, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Among his other honours are the Independent Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke and the Prix Médicis Étranger for Leviathan. He has also been shortlisted for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions) and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance). His work has been translated into more than forty languages.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Author photo © Lotte Hansen
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The contemporary magician of the post-modern and often quirky novel (maybe equalled by just Haruki Murakami) returns with a doorstepper at nearly 900 pages and apart from the initial concept, it proves wonderfully traditional, if not old-fashioned. From the moment of his birth, we follow the life, or rather the lives, of Archie Ferguson, a bright Jewish boy growing up in America from the 1940s to the 1960s. However, from a similar starting point, we are given four different versions depending on varying circumstances, as events run in parallel, relationships, fortunes and loves change according to the respective life stream. Ambitious but rewarding, an exquisite panorama of the way we live and feel seen through a microscope controlled by a writer in full control of his imaginative powers, which is not a metaphor as the character shares a birth date and a profession with Auster himself. An elegy for what could have been, might have been, could still be or should be. The choice is the reader's. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts Auster's moral, political and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the post-war fifties and into the turbulent 1960s. Auster evokes the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that marked his early life-and the many images that came at him, including moving images (he adored cartoons, he was in love with films), until, at its unique climax, the book breaks away from prose into pure imagery: The final section of Report from the Interior recapitulates the first three parts, told in an album of pictures. At once a story of the times and the story of the emerging consciousness of a renowned literary artist, this four-part work answers the challenge of autobiography in ways rarely, if ever, seen before.
A coming-of-age story in four interlocking parts by three different narrators, a tale of sex and obsession. September 2010 Guest Editor Belle de Jour on Paul Auster... Auster is a bit of a Marmite – he puts himself fearlessly into everything and you either love that or you hate it. I love it, the endless re-examination of the writer as a character. While I could recommend loads of his books I prefer to think of them as a body of work, with the permutations of facets of personality that you recognise again and again in his work.
After losing his wife and two young sons in an airplane crash, professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. Then, watching television one night, he sees a clip from a lost film by the silent comedian Hector Mann. Zimmer soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to study the works of this mysterious figure, who vanished from sight in 1929.Presumed dead for sixty years, Hector Mann was a comic genius who had flashed briefly across American movie screens, tantalizing the public with the promise of a brilliant future. Then, just as the silent era came to an end, he walked out of his house one January morning and was never heard from again.Zimmer's research leads him to write the first full-length study of Hector's films. Upon publication the following year, a letter turns up bearing a return address from New Mexico -- supposedly written by Hector's wife. "e;Hector has read your book and would like to meet you. Are you interested in paying us a visit?"e; Is the letter a hoax, or is Hector Mann still alive? Torn between doubt and belief, Zimmer hesitates, until one night a strange woman appears on his doorstep and makes the decision from him, changing his life forever.
When Paul Auster was asked to join NPR's Weekend All Things Considered program to tell stories, he turned the proposition on its head: he would let the stories come to him. He invited listeners to submit brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives.And so the National Story Project was born. just over a year old, it's one of NPR's most popular features. The response has been so overwhelming, with more than 4,000 stories submitted so far, that Auster decided to cull the top works andmake them available in a book -- and now this audio tape. His selections -- hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies -- come from people of all ages and walks of life.This one-of-a-kind collection is a testament to the power of storytelling that offers a glimpse into the American soul. By turns poignant, nostalgic, funny and strange, it is an audiobook to be treasured and shared for years to come.
Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and bewildering events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality . . .
This novel plunges the reader into a universe in which the comic and the tragic and the real and the imagined dissolve into one another. One man's obsession with the mysterious life of a silent film star takes him on a journey into a shadow world of lies, illusions and unexpected love.
Chosen by Paul Auster out of the four thousand stories submitted to his radio programme on National Public Radio, these 180 stories provide a wonderful portrait of America in the twentieth century. The requirement for selection was that each of the stories should be true, and each of the writers should not have been previously published. The collection that has emerged provides a richly varied and authentic voice for the American people, whose lives, loves, griefs, regrets, joys and sense of humour are vividly and honestly recounted throughout, and adeptly organised by Auster into themed sections. The section composed of war stories stretches as far back as the Civil War, still the defining moment in American history; while the sequence of 'Meditations' conclude the volume with a true and abiding sense of transcendence. The resultant anthology is both an enduring hymn to the strange everyday of contemporary American life and a masterclass in the art of storytelling.
Paul Auster's novels have earned him an international reputation as one of America's most exciting and beloved writers. Following his collaboration with Wayne Wang on the films Smoke and Blue in the Face, Auster makes his solo directional debut with Lulu on the Bridge.As in all of Auster's stories, Lulu on the Bridge combines myth, magic and reality to uncover truths about the human experience. Izzy Mauer, a jazz musician, is accidentally hit by a bullet during a performance in a New York club, and his life is changed forever. Through the enchantment of a mysterious stone, Izzy is led on a journey into the strange and sometimes frightening labyrinth of his soul. Both thriller and dream, philosophical investigation and fairy tale, Lulu on the Bridge is above all a story about the redemptive powers of love.
'One of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer.' Le Monde Hand to Mouth tells the story of the young Paul Auster's struggle to stay afloat. By turns poignant and comic, Auster's memoir is essentially a book about money - and what it means not to have it. From one odd job to the next, from one failed scheme to another, Auster investigates his own stubborn compulsion to make art and, in the process, treats us to a series of remarkable adventures and unforgettable encounters. The book ends with three of the longest footnotes in literary history: a card game, a thriller about baseball, and three short plays. Hand to Mouth is essential reading for anyone interested in Paul Auster, in the figure of the struggling artist, in the nature of poverty, or in baseball.
Two stories which have been made into films. In Smoke a novelist, suffering from writer's block and the violent death of his wife, is inspired by a young black boy to write again. The action of Blue in the Face partly takes place in the cigar shop which was the focal point of Smoke.
Paul Auster's three stories explore the nature of identity. He uses the detective, spy and friendship genres as vehicles to delve into the relationships between different groups of people.
'It was the summer that men first walked on the moon. I was very young back then, but did not believe there would ever be a future. I wanted to live dangerously, to push myself as far as I could go, and then see what happened when I got there.' So begins the mesmerising narrative of Marco Stanley Fogg - orphan, child of the 1960s, a quester by nature. Moon Palace is his story - a novel that spans three generations, from the early years of this century to the first lunar landings, and moves from the canyons of Manhattan to the cruelly beautiful landscape of the American West. Filled with suspense, unlikely coincidences, wrenching tragedies and marvellous flights of lyricism and erudition, the novel carries the reader effortlessly along with Marco's search - for love, for his unknown father, and for the key to the elusive riddle of his origins and his fate. 'Clever: very. Surprising: always - Auster is a master.' The Times