Paul Auster life and biography

Paul Auster picture, image, poster

Paul Auster biography

Date of birth : 1947-02-03
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Newark, New Jersey
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-05-18
Credited as : Author, The Book of Illusions, The New York Trilogy

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Paul Benjamin Auster is an American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction and the search for identity and personal meaning in works such as The New York Trilogy (1987), Moon Palace (1989), The Music of Chance (1990), The Book of Illusions (2002) and The Brooklyn Follies (2005).

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 of postmodernist) 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 (2003), The Brooklyn Follies (2005) and the novella Travels in the Scriptorium have also met critical acclaim.

Author of books:

City of Glass (1985, novel, "New York Trilogy")
Ghosts (1986, novel, "New York Trilogy")
The Locked Room (1986, novel, "New York Trilogy")
In the Country of Last Things (1986, novel)
Moon Palace (1989, novel)
The Music of Chance (1990, novel)
Leviathan (1992, novel)
The Red Notebook (1992, nonfiction)
Mr. Vertigo (1994, novel)
The Book of Illusions (2002, novel)
Oracle Night (Dec-2003, novel)


1989 Prix France Culture de Littérature Étrangère for The New York Trilogy
1990 Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1991 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist for The Music of Chance
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
2003 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (received in previous years by Günter Grass, Arthur Miller and Mario Vargas Llosa)
2006 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for Literature
2007 Honorary doctor from the University of Liège

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