[ Together they have one daughter, Sophie Auster. Previously, Auster was married to the acclaimed writer Lydia Davis. They had one son together, Daniel Auster. ]
In the 1980s, he briefly played trombone with the Christian pop band Sonseed. He is also the Vice-President of PEN American Center.
Following his acclaimed debut work, a memoir entitled "The Invention of Solitude", Auster gained renown for a series of three loosely-connected detective stories published collectively as "The New York Trilogy". These books are not conventional detective stories organized around a mystery and a series of clues. Rather, he uses the detective form to address existential issues and questions of identity, space, language and literature, creating his own distinctively postmodern (and critique on postmodernism) form in the process.
The search for identity and personal meaning has permeated Auster's later publications, many of which concentrate heavily on the role of coincidence and random events ("The Music of Chance") or increasingly, the relationships between men and their peers and environment ("The Book of Illusions", "Moon Palace"). Auster's heroes often find themselves obliged to work as part of someone else's inscrutable and larger-than-life schemes. In 1995, Auster wrote and co-directed the films "Smoke" (which won him the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay) and "Blue in the Face". Auster's more recent works, "Oracle Night" (2004), "The Brooklyn Follies" (2005) and the novella "Travels in the Scriptorium" have also met critical acclaim.
Two strong elements in Paul Auster's writing are Jacques Lacan's psychoanalysis and the American transcendentalism of the early to middle 19th century, namely amongst others Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau.
In short Lacan's theory declares that we enter the world through words. We observe the world through our senses but the world we sense is structured (mediated) in our mind through language. Thus our subconscious is also structured as a language. This leaves us with a sense of anomaly. We can only perceive the world through language, but we have the feeling of a lack. The lack is the sense of a being outside of language. The world can only be constructed through language but it always leaves something uncovered, something that can not be told and be thought of, it can only be sensed. This can be seen as one of the central themes of Paul Auster's writing.
Lacan is considered to be one of the key figures of French poststructuralism. Some academics are keen to discern traces of other poststructuralist philosophers throughout Auster's oeuvre - mainly Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard and Michel de Certeau - although Auster himself has claimed to find such philosophies 'unreadable' [http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2004/03/04/3/a-conversation-with-author-paul-auster]
The transcendentalists believe in the fact that the symbolic order of civilization separated us from the natural order of the world. By moving into nature - like Thoreau in "Walden" - it would be possible to return to this natural order.
The common factor of both ideas is the question of the meaning of symbols for human beings. [Heiko Jakubzik: "Paul Auster und die Klassiker der American Renaissance". Dissertation, Universität Heidelberg 1999 ( [http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/archiv/7259/ online text] )] Auster's protagonists are often writers who establish meaning in their lives through writing, and they try to find their place within the natural order to be able to live again in civilization.
Edgar Allan Poe, Samuel Beckett, and Herman Melville have also had a strong influence on Auster's writing. Not only do their characters reappear in Austers work (like William Wilson in "New York Trilogy" or Hawthorne's Fanshawe in "The Locked Room"). Auster also uses variations on the themes of these writers.
Paul Auster's reappearing subjects are: [Dennis Barone (ed.): "Beyond the Red Notebook. Essays on Paul Auster. Penn Studies in Contemporary American Fiction". University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia (2. ed. 1996)]
* frequent portrayal of an ascetic life
* a sense of imminent disaster
* obsessive writer as central character/narrator
* loss of the ability to understand
* loss of language
* depiction of daily and ordinary life
* failure [Dirk Peters: "Das Motiv des Scheiterns in Paul Austers "City of Glass" und "Music of Chance". unpublished MA dissertation, Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel, 1998]
* absence of a father
* writing/story telling, metafiction
* American History
* American Space
Instances of coincidence can be found all over Auster's work. Auster himself claims that people are so influenced by all the consistent stories that surround them, that they do not see the elements of coincidence, inconsistency and contradiction in their own lives:
Failure in Paul Auster's works is not just the opposite of the happy ending. In "Moon Palace "or "The Book of Illusions" it results from the individual's uncertainty about the status of his own identity. The protagonists start a search for their own identity and reduce their life to the absolute minimum. From this zero point they gain new strength and start their new life and they are also able to get into contact with their environment again. A similar development can also be seen in "City of Glass" or "The Music of Chance".
Failure in this context is not the "nothing" - it is the beginning of something all new.
Auster's protagonists often have to go through a development that reduces their existence to the absolute necessary: They cut off contact to their family and friends, hunger and lose or give away all their belongings. Out of this approximation of their nil they either gain new strength to connect to the world again or they fail and finally disappear.
*1989 Prix France Culture de Littérature Étrangère for "The New York Trilogy"
*1990 Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters
*1993 Prix Médicis Étranger for "Leviathan"
*1996 Bodil Awards - Best American Film: Smoke
*1996 Independent Spirit Award - Best First Screenplay: Smoke
*1996 John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence
*2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (received in previous years by Günter Grass, Arthur Miller and Mario Vargas Llosa)
*2007 Honorary doctor from the University of Liège
*"The New York Trilogy" (1987)
**"City of Glass" (1985)
**"The Locked Room" (1986)
*"In the Country of Last Things" (1987)
*"Moon Palace" (1989)
*"The Music of Chance" (1990)
*"Mr. Vertigo" (1994)
*"The Book of Illusions" (2002)
*"Oracle Night" (2004)
*"The Brooklyn Follies" (2005)
*"Travels in the Scriptorium" (2007)
*"Man in the Dark" (September 2008) [ Paul Auster's next novel, 'Man in the Dark', is due to be published by Henry Holt in the US on Monday 1st September 2008. [http://www.paulauster.co.uk/news.htm] ]
*"The Music of Chance" (1993)
*"Blue in the Face" (1995)
*"Lulu on the Bridge" (1998)
*"The Inner Life of Martin Frost" (2007)
Essays, memoirs, and autobiographies
*"The Invention of Solitude" (1982)
*"The Art of Hunger" (1992)
*"The Red Notebook" (1995)
*"Hand to Mouth" (1997)
*"The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century French Poetry" (1982) [ for more information about some of the poets included in this volume see: [http://www.maulpoix.net/US/settling.html French Poetry since 1950: Tendencies III] by Jean-Michel Maulpoix]
*"True Tales of American Life" (First published under the title "I Thought My Father Was God, and Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project") (2001)
*"The Uninhabited: Selected Poems of Andre du Bouchet" (1976)
*"Life/Situations", by Jean-Paul Sartre,1977 (in collaboration with Lydia Davis)
*"A Tomb for Anatole", by Stéphane Mallarmé (1983)
*"Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians" (1998) (translation of Pierre Clastres' ethnography "Chronique des indiens Guayaki")
*"The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert" (2005)
*"Vicious Circles: Two fictions & "After the Fact", by Maurice Blanchot,1999
*"The Story of My Typewriter" with paintings by Sam Messer (2002)
The Accidental Rebel-Wed. April 23 article in New York Times
* On the album "As Smart as We Are" by New York band One Ring Zero, Auster wrote the lyrics for the song "Natty Man Blues" based on Cincinnati poet Norman Finkelstein.
* In 2005 his daughter, Sophie, recorded an album of songs in both French and English, entitled "Sophie Auster", with the band One Ring Zero. The lyrics of three of the songs (in English) are by Paul Auster; and he also provided for the accompanying booklet translations of several French poems which form the lyrics of other songs on the album.
* In 1993, a movie adaptation of The Music of Chance was released. Auster features in a cameo role at the end of the film.
* In 1994 "City of Glass" was adapted as a graphic novel by artist David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik. Auster's friend, noted cartoonist Art Spiegelman, produced the adaptation.
* Jazz trumpeter and composer Michael Mantler's album "Hide and Seek" uses words by Auster from the play of the same name.
* Paul Auster's voice can be heard on the 2005 album entitled "We Must Be Losing It" by The Farangs. The two tracks are entitled "Obituary in the Present Tense" and "Between the Lines".
* In 2006 Paul Auster directed the film "The Inner Life of Martin Frost", based on an original screenplay by himself. It was shot in Lisbon and Azenhas do Mar and starred David Thewlis, Iréne Jacob and Michael Imperioli as well as Auster's daughter Sophie. Auster himself provided the narration, albeit uncredited. The film premiered at the European Film Market, as part of the 2007 Berlinale in Berlin, Germany on February 10, 2007, and opened in New York City on September 7 of the same year.
* The lyrics of Fionn Regan's 2006 song "Put A Penny In The Slot" mention Auster and his book "Timbuktu".
* Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth's composition "... ce qui arrive ..." (2004) combines the recorded voice of Paul Auster with ensemble music and live electronics by Markus Noisternig and Thomas Musil ( [http://iem.at Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM)] ). Paul Auster is heard reading from his books "Hand to Mouth" and "The Red Notebook", either as straight recitation, integrated with other sounds as if in a radio play, or passed through an electronically realized string resonator so that the low tones can interact with these of a string ensemble. A film by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster runs throughout the work featuring the cabaret artist and actress Georgette Dee.
* Paul is the older cousin of conservative columnist Lawrence Auster.
* Paul Auster, Gérard de Cortanze "La solitude du labyrinthe". Paris:Actes Sud, 1997.
* Franchot Ballinger "Ambigere: The Euro-American Picaro and the Native American Trickster". MELUS, 17 (1991-92), pp. 21–38.
* Dennis Barone (ed.): "Beyond the Red Notebook. Essays on Paul Auster." Penn Studies in Contemporary American Fiction. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia (2. ed. 1996)
* Dennis Barone "Auster’s Memory". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 32-34
* Charles Baxter "The Bureau of Missing Persons: Notes on Paul Auster’s Fiction". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 40-43.
* Harold Bloom ed. "Paul Auster." Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publ.; 2004.
* Martine Chard-Hutchinson "Paul Auster (1947- )". In: Joel Shatzky and Michael Taub (eds.). Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997, pp. 13-20.
* Alain Chareyre-Méjan, Guillaume Pigeard de Gurbert. "Ce que Paul Auster n’a jamais dit: une logique du quelconque". In: Annick Duperray (ed.). L’oeuvre de Paul Auster: approches et lectures plurielles. Actes du colloque Paul Auster. Aix-en-Provence: Actes Sud, 1995, pp. 176-184.
* Gerard de Cortanze, James Rudnick: "Paul Austers New York." Gerstenberg, New York; Hildesheim, 1998
*fr iconGérard de Cortanze "Le New York de Paul Auster". Paris: Les Éditions du Chêne-Hachette Livre, 1996.
* Robert Creeley "Austerities". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 35-39.
* Scott Dimovitz, 'Public Personae and the Private I: De-Compositional Ontology in Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy.' "MFS: Modern Fiction Studies". 52:3 (Fall 2006): 613-633.
* William Drenttel (ed.) "Paul Auster: A Comprehensive Bibliographic Checklist of Published Works 1968-1994". New York: Delos Press, 1994.
*de iconSven Gächter "Schreiben ist eine endlose Therapie: Der amerikanische Romancier Paul Auster über das allmähliche Entstehen von Geschichten". Weltwoche (31.12.1992), p. 30.
* Charles Grandjeat "Le hasard et la nécessité dans l’oeuvre de Paul Auster". In: Annick Duperray (ed.). L’oeuvre de Paul Auster: approches et lectures plurielles. Actes du colloque Paul Auster. Aix-en-Provence: Actes Sud, 1995, pp. 153-163.
*de icon Ulrich Greiner: "Gelobtes Land. Amerikanische Schriftsteller über Amerika." Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1997
* Claude Grimal "Paul Auster au coeur des labyrinthes". Europe: Revue Littéraire Mensuelle, 68:733 (1990), pp. 64-66.
* Allan Gurganus "How Do You Introduce Paul Auster in Three Minutes?". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 7-8.
* Anne M. Holzapfel: "The New York trilogy. Whodunit? Tracking the structure of Paul Auster’s anti-detective novels." Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996. (= Studien zur Germanistik und Anglistik; 11) ISBN 3-631-49798-9
*de icon Beate Hötger: "Identität im filmischen Werk von Paul Auster." Lang, Frankfurt am Main u.a. 2002. (= Europäische Hochschulschriften; Reihe 30, 84) ISBN 3-631-38470-X
*de icon Heiko Jakubzik: "Paul Auster und die Klassiker der American Renaissance". Dissertation, Universität Heidelberg 1999 ( [http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/archiv/7259/ online text] )
* Bernd Herzogenrath "An Art of Desire. Reading Paul Auster." Amsterdam: Rodopi; 1999
* Bernd Herzogenrath "Introduction". In: Bernd Herzogenrath. An Art of Desire: Reading Paul Auster. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999, pp. 1-11.
* Gerald Howard "Publishing Paul Auster". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 92-95.
* Peter Kirkegaard, "Cities, Signs, Meanings in Walter Benjamin and Paul Auster: Or, Never Sure of Any of It" in Orbis Litterarum: International Review of Literary Studies 48 (1993): 161179.
* Barry Lewis "The Strange Case of Paul Auster". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 53-61.
* James Marcus "Auster! Auster!". The Village Voice, 39 (August 30, 1994), pp. 55-56.
* Brian McHale "Constructing Postmodernism". London and New York: Routledge, 1992.
* Patricia Merivale "The Austerized Version". Contemporary Literature, 38:1 (Spring 1997), pp. 185-197.
* Christophe Metress "Iles et archipels, sauver ce qui est récupérable: la fiction de Paul Auster". In: Annick Duperray (ed.). L’oeuvre de Paul Auster: approches et lectures plurielles. Actes du colloque Paul Auster. Aix-en-Provence: Actes Sud, 1995, pp. 245-257.
* James Peacock "Carrying the Burden of Representation: Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions." Journal of American Studies, 40:1 (April 2006), pp. 53-70.
*de icon Werner Reinhart: "Pikareske Romane der 80er Jahre. Ronald Reagan und die Renaissance des politischen Erzählens in den USA. (Acker, Auster, Boyle, Irving, Kennedy, Pynchon)." Narr, Tübingen 2001
* William Riggan "Picaros, Madmen, Naïfs, and Clowns: The Unreliable First-Person Narrator". Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981.
* Mark Rudman "Paul Auster: Some ‚Elective Affinities‘". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 44-45.
*de icon Michael Rutschky "Die Erfindung der Einsamkeit: Der amerikanische Schriftsteller Paul Auster". Merkur, 45 (1991), pp. 1105-1113.
* Edward H. Schafer "Ways of Looking at the Moon Palace." Asia Major. 1988; 1(1):1-13.
*de icon Steffen Sielaff: "Die postmoderne Odyssee. Raum und Subjekt in den Romanen von Paul Auster." Univ. Diss., Berlin 2004.
*de icon Joseph C. Schöpp "Ausbruch aus der Mimesis: Der amerikanische Roman im Zeichen der Postmoderne". München: Fink, 1990.
* Motoyuki Shibata "Being Paul Auster’s Ghost". In: Dennis Barone (ed.). Beyond the Red Notebook: Essays on Paul Auster. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995, pp. 183-188.
* Carsten Springer: "Crises. The works of Paul Auster." Lang, Frankfurt am Main u.a. 2001. (= American culture; 1) ISBN 3-631-37487-9
* Carsten Springer: "A Paul Auster Sourcebook." Frankfurt a. Main u. a., Peter Lang, 2001.
* Eduardo Urbina: "La ficción que no cesa: Paul Auster y Cervantes." Vigo: Editorial Academia del Hispanismo, 2007.
* Eduardo Urbina: "La ficción que no cesa: Cervantes y Paul Auster." Cervantes en el ámbito anglosajón. Eds. Diego Martínez Torrón and Bernd Dietz. Madrid: SIAL Ediciones, 2005. 433-42.
* Eduardo Urbina: "Reflejos lunares, o la transformación paródica de la locura quijotesca en Moon Palace (1989) de Paul Auster." Siglos dorados; Homenaje a Augustin Redondo. Ed. Pierre Civil. Madrid: Castalia, 2004. 2: 1417-25.
* Eduardo Urbina: "Parodias cervantinas: el Quijote en tres novelas de Paul Auster (La ciudad de cristal, El palacio de la luna y El libro de las ilusiones)." ‘Calamo currente’: Homenaje a Juan Bautista de Avalle Arce. Ed. Miguel Zugasti. RILCE (Universidad de Navarra) 23.1 (2007): 245-56.
* Eduardo Urbina: "Reading Matters: Quixotic Fiction and Subversive Discourse in Paul Auster’s The Book of Illusions" Critical Reflections: Essays on Golden Age Spanish Literature in Honor of James A. Parr. Eds. Barbara Simerka and Amy R. Williamsen. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2006. 57-66.
* Various Authors. "Special edition on Paul Auster." Critique. 1998 Spring; 39(3).
* Sophie Vallas "The voice of a woman speaking": voix et présences féminines dans les romans de Paul Auster. In: Annick Duperray (ed.). L’oeuvre de Paul Auster: approches et lectures plurielles. Actes du colloque Paul Auster. Aix-en-Provence: Actes Sud, 1995, pp. 164-175.
* Aliki Varvogli "World That is the Book: Paul Auster's Fiction". Liverpool University press, 2001. ISBN: 9780853236979
* Florian Felix Weyh "Paul Auster". Kritisches Lexikon der fremdsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (26. Nachlieferung), pp. 1-10.
* Curtis White "The Auster Instance: A Ficto-Biography". The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 14:1 (Spring 1994), pp. 26-29.
* Eric Wirth "A Look Back from the Horizon". In: Dennis Barone (ed.). Beyond the Red Notebook: Essays on Paul Auster. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995, pp. 171-182.
* John Zilcosky "The Revenge of the Author: Paul Auster’s Challenge to Theory". Critique, 39:3 (Spring 1998), pp. 195-206.
* [http://www.literaryawards.info/en/paul_auster.html Paul Auster's bibliography]
* [http://www.paulauster.co.uk/ Paul Auster (The Definitive Website)] , Stuart Pilkington's website about Paul Auster, first set up in 2000, with comprehensive information on the author's work and life.
* [http://www.3ammagazine.com/litarchives/nov2001/paul_auster_interview.html Interview with 3:AM Magazine]
* [http://wiredforbooks.org/paulauster/ 1987 interview with Paul Auster] by Don Swaim at Wired for Books
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/authors/author/0,5917,-13,00.html Guardian Books "Author Page"] , with profile and links to further articles.
* [http://www.faber.co.uk/ Faber and Faber] - Paul Auster's UK publisher
* " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3869612,00.html The searcher] " - "The Guardian", May 29, 1999.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,,1939604,00.html "I want to tell you a story"] piece by Auster at "The Guardian", November 6, 2006. The subtitle reads: "one of America's greatest living novelists, argues that fiction is 'magnificently useless', but the act of creation and the pleasure of reading are incomparable human joys that we should savour"
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,592-1075597,00.html 2004 "Times Online" article]
* [http://www.calitreview.com/Essays/paul_auster_5007.htm Reflections On the Work of Paul Auster] , Garan Holcombe
* [http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/archives/2008/09/interview_paul.php Village Voice interview with Paul Auster] by Ruth McCann 9/9/2008
* [http://literaturhaus-stuttgart.de/paul-auster.html Literaturhaus Stuttgart, October 2, 2008]
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American writer
DATE OF BIRTH=February 3, 1947
PLACE OF BIRTH=Newark, New Jersey
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
Источник: Paul Auster