Cover image for The red notebook : true stories
The red notebook : true stories
Auster, Paul, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New Directions Book, [2002]

Physical Description:
103 pages ; 18 cm.
The red notebook -- Why write? -- Accident report -- It don't mean a thing.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3551.U77 R43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3551.U77 R43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Paul Auster has earned international praise for the imaginative power of his many novels, includingThe New York Trilogy, Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, Mr. Vertigo, andTimbuktu. He has also published a number of highly original non-fiction works:The Invention of Solitude, Hand to Mouth, and The Art of Hunger. InThe Red Notebook, Auster again explores events from the real world large and small, tragic and comic--that reveal the unpredictable, shifting nature of human experience. A burnt onion pie, a wrong number, a young boy struck by lightning, a man falling off a roof, a scrap of paper discovered in a Paris hotel room--all these form the context for a singular kind ofars poetica, a literary manifesto without theory, cast in the irreducible forms of pure story telling.

Author Notes

Paul Auster was born on February 3, 1947, in Newark, New Jersey. He received a B.A. and a M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. In addition to his career as a writer, Auster has been a census taker, tutor, merchant seaman, little-league baseball coach, and a telephone operator. He started his writing career as a translator. He soon gained popularity for the detective novels that make up his New York Trilogy. His other works include The Invention of Solitude; Leviathan; Moon Palace; Facing the Music; In the Country of Last Things; The Music of Chance; Mr. Vertigo; and The Brooklyn Follies. His latest novels are entitled, Invisible and Sunset Park. In addition to his novels, Auster has written screenplays and directed several films. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a French Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The arresting stories in this slim collection by Auster (The New York Trilogy, etc.) go a long way toward answering the perennial question "Why write?" The book contains four short narratives: "The Red Notebook," "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Accident Report" and "Why Write?" All the tales and vignettes, hovering somewhere between fact and fiction, feature amazing little coincidences or linkages. In one brief chapter, Auster (as protagonist) loses a dime in a gutter in Brooklyn only to look down and find a dime later the same day. In another, he checks into a hotel room in an obscure hotel in Paris and finds a crumpled message from the desk to a close friend the previous occupant of the room. The most affecting stories, however, recount a more ineffable sense of connection: Auster makes it to the foot of a staircase to catch his little daughter just in time to keep her from sailing through a window; as a boy at summer camp, he is on a group hike when the boy next to him is struck by lightning and killed. What all the stories have in common is not a fixed outcome or meaning but a sense of the patterned meaningfulness of life. Readers will glimpse here how the act of witnessing itself provides the punch line. As Auster learned the hard way when he met Willie Mays one day and didn't have a pencil to get an autograph, the sense of wonder burgeons when we can record its source on paper. Agent, Carol Mann. (June 28) Forecast: Auster has always been a genre bender, and here he sets readers a new puzzle. There is sure to be discussion about just how "true" these stories are, which should stimulate interest in the collection. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved