Synopses & Reviews
Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force....
Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
- An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.
- A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
- The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.
- William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.
- A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.
- An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.
These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.
"Auster (Invisible) is in excellent form for this foray into the tarnished, conflicted soul of Brooklyn. New York native Miles Heller now cleans out foreclosed south Florida homes, but after falling in love with an underage girl and stirring the wrath of her older sister, he flees to Brooklyn and shacks up with a group of artists squatting in the borough's Sunset Park neighborhood. As Miles arrives at the squat, the narrative broadens to take in the lives of Miles's roommates — among them Bing, 'the champion of discontent,' and Alice, a starving writer — and the unlikely paths that lead them to their squat. Then there's the matter of Miles's estranged father, Morris, who, in trying to save both his marriage and the independent publishing outfit he runs, may find the opportunity to patch things up with Miles. The fractured narrative takes in an impressive swath of life and history — Vietnam, baseball trivia, the WWII coming-home film The Best Years of Our Lives — and even if a couple of the perspectives feel weak, Auster's newest is a gratifying departure from the postmodern trickery he's known for, one full of crisp turns of phrase and keen insights. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"With a plot that encompasses war in the Middle East, economic recession and the perils of the publishing industry, a contemporary vitality distinguishes the latest from the veteran author....Sure to please Auster fans and likely to attract new readers as well." Kirkus (Starred Review)
"Passionately literary… every element is saturated with implication as each wounded, questing character's story illuminates our tragic flaws and profound need for connection, coherence, and beauty. In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and ‘the miraculous strangeness of being alive.'" Booklist (Starred Review)
"Auster deftly balances minute details that evoke New York City, post-financial meltdown, with marvelously drawn characters bruised but unbowed by life's vicissitudes. He has an impressive array of literary nominations to his credit, but this should be the novel that brings him a broader readership." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Paul Auster is one of those sages with confounding talent — confounding for one because he's simply that good....He belongs among Vonnegut, Roth, and DeLillo....Now is the time to herald the Post-Recession Novel. Sunset Park looks to be it." The Daily Beast
"The latest and arguably most user-friendly among the whip-smart fiction canon of Paul Auster....[A] winning novel....In Sunset Park, Auster seems to carry all of humanity inside him." Jan Stuart, The Boston Globe
"Unexpectedly searing....Sunset Park's prodigal-son tale is somberly poignant, a study of how deeply the urge to connect runs." Salon.com
"As remarkable as are Auster's skill and experience, this kind of writing — this kind of ending — takes another, rarer attribute: tremendous courage." The Seattle Times
"Exquisitely crafted, surprisingly tender....A story grounded in the potent emotions of love, loss, regret and vengeance, and the painful reality of current day calamities.....Auster fans and newcomers will find in Sunset Park his usual beautifully nuanced prose...[and] a tremendous crash bang of an ending." NPR.org
Luminous, passionate, expansive, and an emotional tour de force, Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
A New York Times
From the bestselling author of Invisible and The New York Trilogy comes a new novel set during the 2008 economic collapse. Sunset Park opens with twenty-eight-year-old Miles Heller trashing out foreclosed houses in Florida, the latest stop in his flight across the country. When Miles falls in love with Pilar Sanchez, he finds himself fleeing once again, going back to New York, where his family still lives, and into an abandoned house of young squatters in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Woven together from various points of view — that of Miles's father, an independent book publisher trying to stay afloat, Miles's mother, a celebrated actress preparing her return to the New York stage, and the various men and women who live in the house — “Auster seems to carry all of humanity inside him” (Jan Stuart, The Boston Globe).
About the Author
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Invisible, Man in the Dark, Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.