cover image Why Write?

Why Write?

Paul Auster. Burning Deck, $0 (58pp) ISBN 978-1-886224-14-8

Through childhood memories, stories about his children and anecdotes drawn from his career, novelist Auster (Moon Palace) searches for the motivation that forces him to write. Whether he's recalling his disappointment when Willie Mays refused to give an autograph or the disbelief following the death of a fellow sleepaway camper, Auster's vibrant prose holds the reader's attention and brings into brilliant focus both the tender and the tragic. But the book's brevity prevents the author from providing any truly resonant wisdom, and instead limits him to the briefer shelf-life of wit and sentimentality. Fans who yearn to study at the feet of the master may invest these few reminiscences with all the importance that they can muster. Students of prose will be left ultimately unsatisfied and perhaps baffled over why Auster restrained himself, when a longer and more serious examination of his talent would certainly have been welcomed. (Oct.)