Paul Auster United States of America PWF 2008
Paul Auster was born in 1947 in Newark,New Jersey, though his novels—full of metaphysics and crime—usuallytake place in New York.
“Auster’s strength is that he simply rubsstories together like pebbles. They clatter, spark, and echo with adeepening mystery.”
Paul Auster´s work includes: The New York Trilogy, TheInvention of Solitude, Leviathan, Mr. Vertigo, Smoke, Lulu on theBridge, The Music of Chance, The Book of Illusions, The BrooklynFollies, Travels in the Scriptorium, The Inner Life of Martin Frost, and Man in the Dark, which is forthcoming.
Paul Auster lives with his wife, novelist Siri Hustvedt, in Brooklyn, New York.
I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness. Upstairs, my daughter and granddaughter are asleep in their bedrooms, each one alone as well, the forty-seven-year-old Miriam, my only child, who has slept alone for the past five years, and the twenty-three-year-old Katya, Miriam's only child, who used to sleep with a young man named Titus Small, but Titus is dead now, and Katya sleeps alone with her broken heart.
My father was the baby, and for his whole life he continued to look up to his three older brothers. As a boy he was known as Sonny. He suffered from asthma and allergies, did well in school, played end on the football team and ran the 440 for the track team at Central High in Newark. He graduated in the first year of the Depression, went to law school at night for a semester or two, and then dropped out, exactly as his brothers had done before him.
It all started with a story. The story about the story is no less interesting. In 1990 Paul Auster was asked to contribute a Christmas story to The New York Times. He opened a tin of his beloved Schimmelpennincks – the little cigars he likes to smoke – and started thinking about the man who sells them to him in Brooklyn. It led to some thoughts about the kinds of encounters one has in New York with people one sees every day but doesn’t really know.
Right after paying a tribute to Brooklyn in Smoke, Paul Auster decided to honor his beloved place of residence with another hommage. First let us quote him: „It has to be one the most democratic and tolerant places on the planet. Everyone lives there, every race and religion and economic class, and everyone pretty much gets along. Given the climate in the country today, I would say that qualifies as a miracle.