A taut yet expansive novel of love, memory, and grief from Paul Auster, best-selling, award-winning author and "one of the great American prose stylists of our time" - New York Times
Paul Auster's brilliant eighteenth novel opens with a scorched pot of water, which Sy Baumgartner -- phenomenologist, noted author, and soon-to-be retired philosophy professor - has just forgotten on the stove.
Baumgartner's life had been defined by his deep, abiding love for his wife, Anna, who was killed in a swimming accident nine years earlier. Now 71, Baumgartner continues to struggle to live in her absence as the novel sinuously unfolds into spirals of memory and reminiscence, delineated in episodes spanning from 1968, when Sy and Anna meet as broke students working and writing in New York, through their passionate relationship over the next forty years, and back to Baumgartner's youth in Newark and his Polish-born father's life as a dress-shop owner and failed revolutionary.
Rich with compassion, wit, and Auster's keen eye for beauty in the smallest, most transient moments of ordinary life, Baumgartner asks: Why do we remember certain moments, and forget others? In one of his most luminous works and his first novel since the Booker-shortlisted tour-de-force 4 3 2 1, Paul Auster captures several lifetimes.
About the Author
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of 4 3 2 1, SunsetPark, The Book of Illusions, Moon Palace, and TheNew York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006, he was awarded thePrince of Asturias Prize for Literature. His other honors include thePrix Médicis étranger for Leviathan, the Independent Spirit Awardfor the screenplay of Smoke, the Los Angeles Times BookPrize for Burning Boy, and the Carlos Fuentes Prize for his body ofwork. His most recent novel, 4 3 2 1, was shortlisted for theMan Booker Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts andLetters and is a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His work hasbeen translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.