Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force
Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.
An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.
A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.
William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.
A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.
An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.
These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.
For almost a year now, he has been taking photographs of abandoned things. There are at least two jobs every day, sometimes as many as six or seven, and each time he and his cohorts enter another house, they are confronted by the things, the innumerable cast-off things left behind by the departed families. The absent people have all fled in haste, in shame, in confusion, and it is certain that wherever they are living now (if they have found a place to live and are not camped out in the streets) their new dwellings are smaller than the houses they have lost. Each house is a story
Paul Auster Reads From Sunset Park
Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear Paul Auster read from his novel Sunset Park. Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force, Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse. Auster magically weaves together an immensely moving narrative about contemporary America and its ghosts.
"With a plot that encompasses war in the Middle East, economic recession and the perils of the publishing industry, a contemporary vitality distinguishes the latest from the veteran author…. Sure to please Auster fans and likely to attract new readers as well."
—Kirkus, (Starred Review)
"Passionately literary… every element is saturated with implication as each wounded, questing character's story illuminates our tragic flaws and profound need for connection, coherence, and beauty. In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and ‘the miraculous strangeness of being alive.'"
—Donna Seaman, Booklist, (Starred Review)
"Auster deftly balances minute details that evoke New York City, post-financial meltdown, with marvelously drawn characters bruised but unbowed by life's vicissitudes. He has an impressive array of literary nominations to his credit, but this should be the novel that brings him a broader readership."
—Sally Bissell, Library Journal, (Starred Review)
"Auster is in excellent form… a gratifying departure from the postmodern trickery he's known for, one full of crisp turns of phrase and keen insights."
"Sunset Park is sprawling but taut, toweringly ambitious in scope yet wholly intimate in the sphere of its characters' lives. While we still teeter on the brink of recession in an uncertain economic recovery—with millions still out of work and losing their homes—this novel is probably one of the most important literary touchstones of our era. And it's a true pleasure to read."
—Jason Bennett, Library Journal
"A clear-eyed and muscular fable about tough economic times."
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (Pre-Pub "My Picks")
"The latest and arguably most user-friendly among the whip-smart fiction canon of Paul Auster... [A] winning novel... In Sunset Park, Auster seems to carry all of humanity inside him."
—Jan Stuart, The Boston Globe
"Paul Auster is one of those sages with confounding talent—confounding for one because he's simply that good... He belongs among Vonnegut, Roth, and DeLillo... Now is the time to herald the Post-Recession Novel. Sunset Park looks to be it."
—Claire Howorth, The Daily Beast
"Exquisitely crafted, surprisingly tender... A story grounded in the potent emotions of love, loss, regret and vengeance, and the painful reality of current day calamities.... Auster fans and newcomers will find in Sunset Park his usual beautifully nuanced prose.... [and] a tremendous crash bang of an ending."
—Jane Ciabattari, NPR.ORG "Books We Like"
"As remarkable as are Auster’s skill and experience, this kind of writing—this kind of ending—takes another, rarer attribute: tremendous courage."
—David Takami, The Seattle Times
"Unexpectedly searing... Sunset Park's prodigal-son tale is somberly poignant, a study of how deeply the urge to connect runs."
—Mark Athitakis, Salon.com
—Joseph Peschel, The Kansas City Star
"Resonate[s] with a warm acknowledgment of the tests and limitations of age and the vibrancy of experience... A lovely ride."
—Kate Christensen, Elle
"Auster has delivered an emotionally appealing book about the varieties of modern love... The son-father story is in fact the warmest line of narrative Auster has ever written, outside of the man and the dog story in his much earlier novel, Timbuktu, and it lends the entire novel a certain provident heat."
—Alan Cheuse, Dallas News