Chapter 52. Paul Auster: Poet of Solitude

  1. David Seed Professor
  1. Mark Brown Lecturer

Published Online: 5 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310108.ch52

A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction

A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction

How to Cite

Brown, M. (2009) Paul Auster: Poet of Solitude, in A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction (ed D. Seed), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310108.ch52

Editor Information

  1. University of Liverpool, UK

Author Information

  1. University of Northampton, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: 16 OCT 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405146913

Online ISBN: 9781444310108



  • Paul Auster - Poet of Solitude;
  • Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy (1987);
  • Auster's work, lives of his writer - characters collapsing into lives of the characters they create;
  • Poetry, “An Art of Loneliness” - Ground Work (1990) and Collected Poems (2004);
  • early fiction - language and identity;
  • The New York Trilogy marking Auster's emergence as a significant figure in American fiction;
  • Auster's second novel, In the Country of Last Things (1987) - shares language and identity with The New York Trilogy;
  • Auster's sixth novel, Mr. Vertigo (1995) - exploring themes of self-hood and illusion;
  • films - community and baseball;
  • late fiction - storytelling as sanctuary


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Poetry: “An Art of Loneliness”

  • Early Fiction: Language and Identity

  • Films: Community and Baseball

  • Late Fiction: Storytelling as Sanctuary

  • References and Further Reading