Talking to Strangers: Selected Essays, Prefaces, and Other Writings, 1967-2017

Paul Auster. Picador, $20 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-20629-9
Man Booker Prize finalist Auster (4 3 2 1) gathers 44 pieces of nonfiction and essays in this wide-ranging and probing collection. His insightful literary criticism, written in the 1970s and ’80s for Commentary and the New York Review of Books, among others, discusses Kafka’s letters, the short-lived Dada movement, and the influence of French poets on their British and American counterparts. More recent works include a tribute to Auster’s long-lived manual typewriter and an account of an evening at Shea Stadium watching Mets pitcher Terry Leach shut out the Giants. The collection’s highlights include reflections on artists both classic and contemporary, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose notebooks reveal the humorous side of “a notoriously melancholy man,” and Jim Jarmusch, whose films are characterized by “loopy asides, unpredictable digressions and an intense focus on what is happening at each particular moment.” The book also includes newly published work, notably a lively 1982 lecture on “the luckless, misunderstood Edgar Allan Poe,” who was greatly admired—and rescued from obscurity—by French poets Baudelaire and Mallarmé. This vibrant collection fully displays Auster’s wit and humanity and offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a celebrated author. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/25/2019
Release date: 05/21/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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