25th Annual Key West Literary Seminar - January 11-14, 2007

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"Wondrous Strange: Mystery, Intrigue, and Psychological Drama"
January 11-14, 2007

Paul Auster
PANELIST Paul Auster

Primarily known as a novelist, Paul Auster has also written essays, poetry, memoirs, and screenplays. Auster mines the themes of shifting identity, arbitrary influence, and elusive truth. He sees life as filled with "unexpected events and strange twists," a view reinforced by a pivotal event in his own life, when as a fourteen-year-old he went hiking with a friend who was killed by lightning. Swayed by mysterious coincidences, Auster's characters navigate surreal settings as they search for meaning and identity. In The Book of Illusions (2002), the discovery of a blue notebook containing a mystery offsets a man's grief over the sudden death of his family. Other critical favorites among his ten novels are The New York Trilogy (1985-86), Oracle Night (2004), and The Music of Chance (1990), nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. In the 1990s, Auster branched into screenwriting for Smoke, Blue in the Face, and Lulu on the Bridge, which he also directed.

After earning an M.A. from Columbia, Auster assumed the role of starving artist, scraping out a living as a census taker, translator, and merchant seaman. Described by one critic as a "Francophile existentialist with a touch of Gothic," he enjoys a strong following in France, where he lived in his twenties. Auster has received the French Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature as well as a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

More: www.paulauster.co.uk/body.htm
More: www.calitreview.com/Essays/paul_auster_5007.htm

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