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This is a very brief biography of Auster. I will flesh this out a little more when I get a chance. Auster was born in 1947, attended Columbia University and got a Masters degree; he dropped out before he got his Ph.D. He is rumored to have done all sorts of things after that, from working on an oil tanker to producing B movies in France. He did live in France for a while, and has translated several French works. Early in his literary career, he was known as a poet, and had several of his poems published in various literary journals. He also wrote several essays and conducted interviews with literary figures during this time.

Things began to change in the late 70s. His father died, which produced the memoir The Inverntion of Solitude. After that he wrote novels almost exclusive, starting with Squeeze Play, a popular detective novel published under the name Paul Benjamin (and included as an appendix in his new memoir Hand to Mouth). His first "serious" novel was City of Glass, the first novel in the New York Trilogy. His new novel, Dream Days Hotel, is supposed to be published later this fall.

Recently Auster has also become interested in film. The Music of Chance was made into a movie by Phillip Haas which starred James Spader. Auster later collaborated with Wayne Wang on Smoke and Blue in the Face, two critically acclaimed films released in 1996. Smoke was based on Augie Wren's Christmas Story, a short piece originally published in the New York Times on Christmas Day, 1991. Blue in the Face was a more free-form piece that was filmed without any real script. Auster is also going to be making his directorial debut later this fall with Lulu on the Bridge, starring Harvey Keitel.

Until I get a chance to flesh this out a little more, you might want to take a look at Ken Kreutzer's more extensive biography. The site is a little ... well, loud, but the information about Auster is considerable, and the rest of his site is pretty entertaining as well.


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