Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any FAQs that you would like to suggest then please feel free to e-mail them to the following address:

[Disclaimer: All the information on this page is gleaned purely from the Internet and other publications. It is not from the mouth of Paul Auster and so, unfortunately, I cannot guarantee 100% accuracy. However, if I do find that any information is not correct then I will remove it straight away.]


Is Paul Auster behind this site?

No the site was designed and is maintained by Stuart Pilkington.

Is Paul Auster a pseudonym?

No, Paul Auster is definitely his real name - Paul Benjamin Auster to be precise, (which is how he came up with his pseudonym of Paul Benjamin for the 'Squeeze Play' and also the main character in 'Smoke').

What is the correct pronunciation of Auster?

Some people pronounce it as 'ow'-ster, others 'or'-ster and some I dare say 'oo'-ster. The author himself though plumps for 'or'-ster.

This is backed up by which says that the 'au' in Auster is pronounced as in caught, paw, for, horrid and hoarse.

How can I get in touch with Paul Auster?

If you want to write to Paul Auster then you need to do this via his publishers:

Penguin Putnam Inc

Unfortunately, we can not give out personal mail or email addresses for our authors, however all author mail is forwarded directly to our authors through our publicity departments. Simply write to:

Paul Auster
c/o (Imprint) Publicity
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
115 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
tel 1 (212) 886-9200
fax 1 (212) 633-0748

Faber & Faber Ltd
If you wish to contact an author please write via the editorial department who will forward your letter.
3 Queen Square
London, WC1N 3AU

Sun & Moon Press
6026 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90036 USA
Phone: 213-857-1115 Fax: 213-857-0143

Should I get in touch with Paul Auster?

Here's a tale supplied by oppositesteve from Austerland which may give some insight into the answer to this question. It was in The Times and was called 'The author, his fan and a pack of Turkish cigars'.

To Paul Auster, it must have seemed like a scene from one of his own noirish novels. As he strolled out of his Brooklyn brownstone one recent morning in search of an espresso to kickstart the writing day, he noticed the lampposts had been festooned with photocopied posters. Expecting the usual reward notice for a missing pet or details of a local jumble sale, he stopped to read one and got a surprise. The posters were addressed specifically to him. "To Mr Paul Auster," they read. "I have been wandering up and down the Park Slope with a pack of Turkish cigars I brought over for you, expecting to run into you. But it seems this method is not going to work. So if you read this message, could you please contact me." The signatory, E. Turkgeldi, had left his e-mail address, which Auster noted. As Auster would soon find out, Turkgeldi is a medical student and a fan of the writer. On holiday in New York from his native Turkey, he had brought the cigars with him as a token of his appreciation. Having learnt from a bookjacket that Auster lived in Brooklyn, he sat down and, after studying the author's work, alongside a map, calculated where he thought he might bump into him. "I dreamt of meeting him somehow," he tells the latest edition of The New Yorker. "I didn't imagine a long conversation, but maybe I'd just run into him." With his holiday running out, and no accidental meeting, he resorted to flyers, unwittingly posting one just outside the writer's home. Auster, not on e-mail himself, asked the local bookshop if he could use its address. They agreed that the cigars could be left at the store, which they were - the next day. "What I admired about the way he approached me," Auster says, "was the discretion of it, respecting the shyness of a writer and making a very kind gesture at the same time." The two men have now started a correspondence and Turkgeldi has begun writing short stories. With such determination, he will go far."

Is it true that Paul Auster was in a band?

Thanks to Andreas Hau I now have it on good authority that the statement below is untrue. Paul Auster was never in a band called 'Shell' or any band for that matter. You can listen to Paul Auster's reaction to the news that he was in a band in the excerpt from Andreas' interview with Paul in the FAQ below 'What does Paul Auster sound like?'.

"Yes. The band was called Shell. Auster founded "Shell" in 1983 and the band has released three albums before they split in 1988. (The author of the link relating to 'Shell' was taken it down due to college work)"

What does Paul Auster sound like?

Have a listen to this excerpt from Andreas Hau's interview with Paul Auster to find out.

Who was Paul Auster's first wife?

Lydia Davis. Novelist and translator from New York. They married on 6th October 1974.

Who is Paul Auster currently married to?

Siri Hustvedt. Norwegian poet and essayist born in Minessota in 1955. They married in 1981.

"Living with another writer has been a pure joy for me. It's never competitive, and I think we both are glad to have someone who understands and supports us." Paul Auster

What are the names of Paul Auster's children?

Daniel and Sophie. (Sophie was named after the character of Sophie Fanshawe in 'The Locked Room')

Is Paul Auster related to Lawrence Auster?

David Mills sent an e-mail to say "I finally confirmed through Lawrence Auster himself that, indeed, he is Paul Auster's younger cousin. (Lawrence's father, Irving Auster, was the second-youngest of Anna Auster's five children. Paul's father, Samuel, was the youngest.) Again, Lawrence and Paul attended the same high school, two years apart. They also attended the same university." You can visit Lawrence Auster's website by clicking here.

What does Paul Auster's dog look like (inspiration for Timbuktu)?

Jack is named after the hero in Auster's favorite 16th century novel 'The Unfortunate Traveler'.

"I do have a dog, but I started writing the book [Timbuktu] before I got him. But I must say he was very helpful for me doing research for the book." Paul Auster

Which photographers have taken portrait shots of Paul Auster?

Arnold Newman

Lufti Ozkok

Francois Schein

Susan Shacter

Emanuela Gardner

Arturo Patten

Nigel Parry

The Douglas Brothers

Heather Conley

Elena Ayala

Dmitri Kasterine

Mimsy Moller

Are there any drawings of Paul Auster?

And there's also another drawing at the David Levine Gallery.

And a portrait below by Marie Lessard

And, of course, one of the Sam Messer portraits from 'The Story of My Typewriter'

Here's one by Frasi

And another by Ana Andres

The following image was found on an article found in 'The Brooklyn Rail'

This one was by Henry Denander

And the following image was sent to me by the artist Marcel Domeier

This caricature appeared in a recent interview in the FT:

What does Paul Auster's Signature look like?

There are now 3 places you can see a scanned copy of the author's signature. The first is at the Stillman's Maze, another is at Luciano's page and the latest is here on this site.

Why has 'The Book of Illusions' been published in France and Denmark before the US?

I e-mailed Paul Auster's assisitant and she said "Yes--The Book of Illusions is absolutely wonderful. But I have no idea why it came out earlier in those countries." So I e-mailed his French publishers, Actes-Sud, and they said "Indeed, "The Book of illusions" has been published in France before its coming out in USA and GB. In fact, Actes Sud has a very close contact to Paul Auster as the French echo of his work has highly contributed to his international success. Our editorial direction got the manuscript directly from the author without having to wait for its publication in English language. Therefore, the schedule of each publishing house, from one side or another of the Atlantic or the Channel, are completly independent - and we were so enthusiastic about this new novel that we were especially eager to offer it to our readers as soon as possible!"

Where can I get hold of the other interviews listed on Carl-Carsten Springer's page?

Slowly but surely I am uploading articles and interviews sent to me by the likes of The Times and the Denver Quarterly etc. You can find them on the interviews page in the links section.

What ever happened to the site 'The Other Paul Auster'?

It's been removed by the author. Luckily I took a print off a year or so ago and so I'll be re-typing it and uploading it to the site in the not too distant future.

And here it is.

Who have been Paul Auster's main literary influences?

Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Beckett, Shakespeare and Cervantes.

What is Paul Auster's favourite book?

'Don Quixote' by Cervantes.

"It seems to present every problem every novelist has ever had to face, and to do it in the most brilliant and human way imaginable." Paul Auster

What does Paul Auster use to write his novels?

Apparently Paul Auster sticks with his fountain pen and paper, objects which crop up repeatedly throughout his books. At the end of the day, he types about a page on an old, manual machine, "the ancient and battered Olympia I still use for all my writing" Paul Auster

What are the best multi-language Paul Auster sites?

Try this Hungarian site which has been newly revamped and looks excellent.

Aitor Alonso's Spanish blog This Is Brooklyn.

The following are sadly now no longer:

By far the best Spanish site is Luciano's site.

And the best French site is Unofficial Auster.

Whilst the best Korean site is probably the Red Notebook.

Is Paul Auster anything to do with 'Center of the World'?

The film is not a collaboration between Wayne Wang and Paul Auster, as some reviewers have suggested, nor was the screenplay written by Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt. At Mr. Wang's request, Mr. Auster and Ms. Hustvedt contributed some general story ideas at an early stage of the project, but neither one of them was involved in the making of the film.

When is Paul Auster's next novel due out?

The title is 'Man In The Dark' and it will be published in Denmark in March 2008 and the UK and US in August 2008.

Will Paul Auster be coming to Britain to do a book signing?

Paul Auster is due to visit the UK in October 2008 for the launch of his new novel 'Man In The Dark'.