Synopses & Reviews
A stunning and considered collection of poetry and writings by one of the most intriguing and accomplished voices in contemporary literature. Paul Auster's penetrating and charged verse resembles little else in recent American poetry. This collection of Auster's poetry, translations, and composition notes from early in his career do much to reinforce the idea that Paul Auster is, indeed, a unique and masterful figure in the literary world. Taut, densely lyrical, and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this selection of writings begins with the compact verse fragments of Spokes (written when Auster was in his early twenties) and Unearth, continues on through the more ample meditations of Wall Writing, Disappearances, Effigies, Fragments From the Cold, Facing the Music, and White Spaces, then moves further back in time to include Auster's revealing translations of many of the French poets who influenced his own writing, as well as the provocative and previously unpublished "Notes From A Composition Book" (1967). An introduction by Norman Finkelstein connects biographical elements to a consideration of the work, and takes in Auster's early literary and philosophical influences. Powerful, haunting, and precise, this view from the past to the present will appeal to those unfamiliar with this aspect of Auster's work, as well as those already acquainted with his poetry.
"This is a persuasive instance of a master at work in the form which was to provide his own initiation as a writer. . . . As always, Auster writes with a grace and a particularity all his own." (Robert Creeley)
About the Author
Paul Auster is a writer, director, poet, and actor. The author of nine novels, including The New York Trilogy and, most recently, The Book of Illusions. He also edited the bestselling True Tales of American Life, the NPR National Story Project anthology. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1947, Auster lives with his wife, the writer Siri Hustvedt, and their two children.