New York Magazine

What Happened to Paul Auster?

A decade ago, he was a Nobel contender.

Paul Auster


4 3 2 1


WHAT IF YOU WERE made to account for the books on your shelves the way souls have to account for their sins? I’m not talking about some bogus social signaling when a date is brought home or people are over for dinner. How do you reckon with your younger, naïve self, the person you were before your tastes matured? You were better-looking then, but those books you were reading, turn their spines away from the light. Better yet, put them on the curb. In my case, I sold them all in 2010—anything that didn’t have sentimental value as an object or could be easily replaced. That was how I first said good-bye to Paul Auster.

It must have been my freshman year of college, in the fall of 1995, that I inhaled The New York Trilogy. Combining noir thrills, existentialism, and an exquisite

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from New York Magazine

New York Magazine2 min readPop Culture
Have Flute, Will Rock
THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS: THE RISE AND FALL OF PROG ROCK will be published on June 13 by W. W. Norton & Company. CHARACTERIZED BY VIRTUOSIC instrumental passages, high-blown lyrics, and fantastical imagery, prog rock achieved massive success in the
New York Magazine3 min read
Further Notes of a Recycled Housewife
A mostly happy ending Forty-five years ago, New York published a cover story by Jennifer Skolnik called “Notes of a Recycled Housewife.” The magazine’s cover described “The Suburban Housewife Who Bought the Promises of Women’s Lib and Came to the Cit
New York Magazine4 min read
The Birth and Rebirth of Memphis
1977: Ettore Sottsass, the designer known up until this point for his red Olivetti Valentine typewriter, spots a geometric ceramic teapot in Wet magazine and tells his partners Aldo Cibic and Matteo Thun to ask the pot’s designer, Peter Shire, to col