1995 to 2001
Early 2002
Late 2002
Early 2003

Book of Illusions

News (Late 2003)

On Wednesday 17th December 2003 I received the following e-mail from Michael Hearst:

"We have a CD coming out in April featuring lyrics written for us by various authors. Paul is one of the contributors. ."

On Tuesday 16th December 2003 Paul Auster will meeting with Off The Page for an online discussion via the Washington Post.

Jared Stika kindly sent me the following tour dates for Paul Auster's new novel 'Oracle Night':

On Saturday 6th December 2003 and Sunday 7th December 2003 he will be in New York at the Paula Cooper Gallery, (Tess Jones at Henry Holt says that he'll "be reading the book in its entirety").

On Tuesday 13th January 2004 he'll be in Washington DC at Politics and Prose.

And on Tuesday 27th January 2004 he'll be in Boston at Wordsworth.

Make a note in your diaries - William Finkel sent me the following link informing us that on Wednesday 17th December 2003 it is International Paul Auster Meet Up Day. Sign up and talk Auster.

'Oracle Night' will be published in the UK on Thursday 5th February 2004 according to Terry Lee who calls it a "stunning read, he's on his best form." Matthew de Ville at Faber & Faber also says "I see that a lot of Auster fans have already managed to get the new book. What's happened is that, because of the US publication, we decided to bring forward the publication date of our export edition, which is why copies are on sale in France, Belgium, Holland etc. The UK publication date is February, but copies will probably arrive in the shops mid-January."

On Thursday 11th December 2003 there was a reviw of 'Oracle Night' in the International Herald Tribune. And prior to that there was a review in the New York Post.

On Friday 5th December 2003 Hilary Mantel from the Daily Telegraph reviewed 'Collected Prose' by Paul Auster. Click here to read the review.

She writes "What intrigues Auster is the strangeness of real life, the strangeness beyond fiction – fate's jokes and whimsies, the teasing coincidences and strange synchronicities that are sprinkled through the average human span."

On the same day I received an e-mail from Robyn Grant who writes "The following is an interesting connection in light of Paul Auster's typewriter story. Given Auster's lifelong working habits using the Olympia SM 9, here is the one man in the world who really knows something about Auster's typewriter."

On Wednesday 3rd December 2003 I received the following e-mail from John Brawley, (contributor to 'I Thought My Father Was God'). He says "Just wanted to let you know that while on travel this week in Portland, Oregon, I found a treasure of Paul’s books in Powell’s City of Books, including a bounty of copies of Oracle Night. I began reading it last night."

On Tuesday 2nd December 2003 I received the following e-mail from Henrik Bengtsson who wrote "Yesterday I bought Paul Auster's new book in Sweden. The version sold in Sweden is published by Henry Holt and Company. I enclose a picture of the nicely designed cover (which, I suppose resembles the blue Portuguese notebook that the main character Sidney Orr purchases from M.R. Chang and this is how far I have reached in the book - which so far is very 'Austerish' and promising)." And as promised friend of the site Sara Serrao has produced the following translation of an interview with Paul Auster in Parma by the Italian newspaper 'La Stampa'. Thank you Sara.

On Sunday 30th November 2003 there was the following review of 'Oracle Night' in the New York Times.

On Friday 28th November 2003 I received two e-mails. The first was from Paul Cornelissen who said "Tonight I bought the new Paul Auster novel ´Oracle Night´, here in the Hague at van Stockum´s! Scheduled for feb 2004 to be published. It happened before: the first appearance of his new novel in Holland, and later in the rest of the world. (Leviathan) Don´t know why they do that but I´m glad they do. So tomorrow I´ll be late for work, that´s for sure, after a delightful night of reading. Looks great, this new novel: 243 pages, b/w cover with the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline on it."

The other e-mail was from Jared Stika who wrote "I just purchased a copy of oracle night in San Francisco on 11/27. The seller said he had copies since tuesday. I'm very excited and at only about 240 pages, I should have it read by morning. Just thought I would let you know its been released."

On Thursday 27th November 2003 Brian McGuirk e-mailed me to say that there are two new interviews with Paul Auster out there. He says that a "very short one is in the current (December?) issue of Details magazine. A longer one (which I haven't read yet) is in this quarter's Paris Review." An excert of the latter, (i.e. the Fall issue), can be read here. "Paul Auster on gathering evidence, dodging lightning, and telling the bare-bones truth"

On Wednesday 26th November 2003 Jente Algoed e-mailed me to say that Auster's new novel 'Oracle Night' "has been available for two weeks now in belgium, I've read and loved it. "First published in us in 2004" it states...but then again, the book is about exploring the futere and the past! so enjoy!". It appears to be on the shelves in the US as well.

Nicola Caleffi, author of the following article, e-mailed to say "just to tell you that I've just seen Paul
Auster in Parma (Italy) on
Saturday 22 November 2003. he was there for a screening of Lulu on the bridge. Auster read some passages from The Book Of Illusions and answered a couple of questions from the public (there was about 300 hundreds people, it was a theatre - the "Teatro al Parco", theather in the park). He was very kind and genuine, and made me a good impression. After leaving the room, I was lucky enough to step on him in the hall and asked him an autograph on my copy of NY Trilogy. Siri was also there."

Sara Serrao has also e-mailed to say "Paul Auster was in Palma last week". She's kindly offered to send us a translation of the interview with Auster in Palma.

On Sunday 16th November 2003 Robert Potts wrote a review of Paul Auster's recently released book 'Collected Prose' in 'The Observer'.

On Wednesday 12th November 2003 USA Today printed an article which claimed that Paul Auster had offered up his broken reading glasses in order to help Ruminator Books in St Paul. Stuart Harrington at t-melt sent me the following link as a follow up.

On Tuesday 11th November 2003 web editor Peter Wild sent me a link to his review of 'Oracle Night' on He calls it the "first essential novel of 2004". Since then there has been another review written in the 'New York Post'.

Saturday 18th October 2003 the Brooklyn Public Library continued its series "Brooklyn Writers for Brooklyn Readers". The first guest was Paul Auster. He was interviewed by Lenoard Lopate from WNYC and also read from his new yet-to-be-published novel 'Oracle Night'.

On Friday 10th October 2003 Brent Howard very kindly sent me the following information:

"I saw Paul Auster tonight at Cooper Union in New York City. He read a new piece that served as an artistic assignment for Sophie Calle, then read several pieces from the Red Notebook. In addition, a musician named Don Byron permformed with his sextet, and Auster's 16 year old daughter sang "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" with them. Afterwards, Auster read a work that I believe is from The Art of Hunger while the sextet played along. Afterwards he signed books in the lobby.

The good news is that his new book, Oracle Night, will be released this December, rather than February. Also, his three screenplays will be published in December as Three Films."

Also you may like to read Nadia Shireen's very interesting account leading up to her attendance at the same Cooper Union meeting by clicking here. As Nadia says "I'm still kind of getting over it...".

Please click here for the latest results in the Duo J competition.

On Tuesday 23rd September 2003 regular Klaus Nolting sent me an image of Paul Auster's new book 'Oracle Nights'. Please click here to view.

As Klaus says "something new is taking shape."

Many, many thanks to Matthew de Ville who looks after the excellent new website of Faber & Faber, (Paul Auster's publishers in the UK), - he has e-mailed me recently with some exciting news:

On Thursday 5th February 2004 Auster's next novel 'Oracle Night' will be publised in the UK. Matthew de Ville wrote to say that "the big news is that there's a new novel due in the Spring (the date is 5 February), called Oracle Night. I think it's published in the US in January. The manuscript has just been delivered...and we've got very high hopes." Web designer Peter Wild e-mailed me on the same day and confirmed this news by saying "Big big Paul Auster news - there is a new novel - due for publication in the UK next Spring (so Spring 2004) - all I know is that the book is at present called Oracle Nights."

As far as what the novel is about I've heard a rumour that it has been compared to 'The Music of Cance' I also received an e-mail from Nicholas Taylor on Friday 11th April 2003 which read:

"Last night I attended a reading by Paul Auster at NYU’s Lipton Hall in Greenwich Village. Surprisingly, he read the first 20 pages from what he said was his next novel, called Oracle of Night. It was absolutely wonderful. A story of a man who was supposed to die of a debilitating disease, miraculously survives, and finds the will to resume his writing career by a strange chance discovery of a stationary store in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and a mysterious blue notebook he finds there. It was really riveting. Afterwards he signed books, which they were selling outside at a 20% discount (Book of Illusions, Timbuktu, Red Notebook). From what it sounded like, this was the first public reading of this new Paul Auster work, so I felt very pleased and excited. He said it was just finished and he doesn’t know quite what it is, but nonetheless, he felt compelled to share it. The reading was part of a series of readings hosted by the NYU Graduate Creative Writing Program."

On Thursday 16th October 2003 Faber & Faber are publishing a tone called 'Collected Prose'. Matthew de Ville wrote to say that it "is a highly personal collection of critical essays, autobiography, true stories and occasional pieces written over the years for magazines and newspapers. It ranges in subject from Walter Raleigh to Kafka, Philippe Petit (the high-wire artist who's book we've recently published, with a glowing endorsment from Paul) to Nathaniel Hawthorne, the World Trade Center tragedy to life in New York." Once again this was confirmed by Peter Wild who wrote a little earlier to say "Faber in the UK are publishing a Selected Prose by Paul Auster". Matthew pointed out though that "it's now 'Collected' rather than 'Selected'".

In September 2003 Paul Auster's assistant and co-editor of 'I Thought My Father Was God', Nelly Reifler, is releasing her new book 'See Through: Short Stories'.

If you pre-order a copy of Nelly's book on Amazon they are currently offering a 30% discount. Click here to pre-order a copy of this book.

This item has not yet been released.

And finally on Thursday 4th September 2003 'The Book of Illusions' will be available in paperback in the UK. Matthew de Ville wrote "The publication date of The Book of Illusions is actually 4 September in the UK (so a little later than you mention on the site), but expect it to be in the shops a couple of weeks before this."

And according to Amazon it should be on release during August in the US.

Listen to this link provided by Brian McGuirk in order to whet your appetite.

On Wednesday 27th August 2003 Mark kindly e-mailed me with the following synopsis of Paul Auster's new book 'Oracle Night', (Markus Friedl also sent the following link):

"Several months into his recovery from a near-fatal illness, thirty-four-year-old novelist Sidney Orr enters a stationery shop in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn and buys a blue notebook. It is September 18, 1982, and for the next nine days Orr will live under the spell of this blank book, trapped inside a world of eerie premonitions and puzzling events that threaten to destroy his marriage and undermine his faith in reality.

Why does his wife suddenly break down in tears in the backseat of a taxi just hours after Sidney begins writing in the notebook? Why does M. R. Chang, the owner of the stationery shop, precipitously close his business the next day? What are the connections between a 1938 Warsaw telephone directory and a lost novel in which the hero can predict the future? At what point does animosity explode into violence? To what degree is forgiveness the ultimate expression of love?

Paul Auster’s mesmerizing eleventh novel reads like an old-fashioned ghost story. But there are no ghosts in this book—only flesh-and-blood human beings, wandering through the haunted realms of everyday life. At once a meditation on the nature of time and a journey through the labyrinth of one man’s imagination, Oracle Night is a narrative tour de force that confirms Auster’s reputation as one of the boldest, most original writers at work in America today."

Click here to read the article in La Repubbica on Sunday 17th August 2003 where Paul Auster criticised the Bush administration whilst on his tour in Italy.

On Saturday 21st June 2003 Paul Auster recalled how he got a job translating a converstion with the sculpter Alberto Giacometti and the critic David Sylvester. Click here to read the piece.

Stefano Cretarola from Duo J * has e-mailed to say that Paul Auster will be in Rome on Friday 20th June 2003 for a reading. Rita Balestra has confirmed this by saying that next "June 20th Mr Auster will be in Rome as a guest at the 2nd edition of the "Massenzio Literature Festival".

Pasquale Marzano, author of 'The Use of Names in Paul Auster's Narrative Fiction', (click here to read), has also just e-mailed me to say "By the way, on a weekly magazine published in Italy ("Il venerdì di Repubblica", 13 giugno 2003, n. 795, pp. 110-113), there is an interview with Paul Auster and his wife, where it is also written that, on the 20th of June, they are going to be at a place near Rome (Massenzio), for a literature Festival. Auster is expected to read some extracts from "Oracle Night", the book he has just finished to write. It will be a sort of literary&musical reading, with the participation of the actor Massimo Popolizio and of the jazz musicians Danilo Rea and Roberto Gattto."

* Duo J is another band inspired by Auster's works. This is what Stefano wrote about their latest release: "movinpower" is CD audio + CD-ROM including 8 video clips from Hip-Hop to Breakbeat and Hardcore/Progressive inspired by the Paul Auster's american literature."

Look out for the next Paul Auster competition - the prize is a copy of the CD.

On Thursday June 19th 2003 The International Herald Tribute reported the following about Paul Auster's recent trip to Europe:

"The American novelist Paul Auster voiced scathing criticism of the U.S. government, calling its policies "stupid" and hoping that American voters will end what he called a shift to the extreme right. Auster, on a vacation tour of Europe, gave a lecture at the Circulo de Bellas Artes cultural foundation in Madrid. "In the long run I don't think the American people are going to be asleep the way they are right now," Auster said. "I think eventually they are going to wake up." He criticized the administration on issues ranging from foreign policy and the Iraq war to education and the environment."

Click here for a similar article in The Mercury News. And here for a piece in the Charlotte Observer, (supplied by Stuart Harrington at T-melt).

On Monday 26th May 2003 I received an e-mail from Antoine Tanguay about an article he published in Cyberpresse about a new book re: Paul Auster.

Click here to read Antoine's article.

As Antoine says in his e-mail "Maybe somebody's French is good somewhere"