New York Magazine

What Happened to Paul Auster?

A decade ago, he was a Nobel contender.
Paul Auster


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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

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