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Man in the Dark

A Novel

Paul Auster

Picador

Longlisted for the International IMPAC Literary Award
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

A work of fiction with a dark political twist, Paul Auster's Man in the Dark speaks to the realities that America inhabits as wars flame around the world. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident in his daughter’s house in Vermont. When sleep refuses to come, he lies in bed and tells himself stories, struggling to push back thoughts about things he would prefer to forget—his wife’s recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter’s boyfriend, Titus. The retired book critic imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union and a bloody civil war ensued. As the night progresses, Brill’s story grows increasingly intense, and what he is so desperately trying to avoid insists on being told. Joined in the early hours by his granddaughter, he gradually opens up to her and recounts the story of his marriage. After she falls asleep, he at last finds the courage to revisit the trauma of Titus’s death.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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CHAPTER ONE

I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness. Upstairs, my daughter and granddaughter are asleep in their bedrooms, each one alone as well, the forty-seven-year-old Miriam, my only child, who has slept alone for the past five years, and the twenty-three-year-old Katya, Miriam’s only child, who used to sleep with a young man named Titus Small, but Titus is dead now, and Katya sleeps alone with her broken heart.

Bright light, then darkness. Sun pouring
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MEDIA

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  • Authors@Google: Paul Auster

    The Authors@Google Program was pleased to welcome Paul Auster to Google's New York office to read from and discuss his new book, "Man in the Dark".

  • Man in the Dark by Paul Auster--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to author Paul Auster read from his novel Man in the Dark in this audiobook excerpt. From a "literary original" (The Wall Street Journal) comes a book that forces us to confront the blackness of night even as it celebrates the existence of ordinary joys in a world capable of the most grotesque violence. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident at his daughter's house in Vermont.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Man in the Dark

"Works beautifully . . . This is perhaps Auster's best book. Like Vonnegut's classic anti-war novel [Slaughterhouse Five], Auster's book leaves one with a depth of feeling much larger than might be expected from such a small and concise work of art."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Man in the Dark is at once haunting, thought-provoking, emotional, and compellingly readable."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Remarkable . . . Man in the Dark possesses a grand and generous heart."--The Boston Globe

"Auster's latest astute and mesmerizing metaphysical fiction . . . A master of the matter-of-factly fantastic, Auster tells an utterly authentic story of culpability and survival, the vortex of loss, and our endless struggle to translate terror into understanding."--Booklist (starred review)

"A novel that kept my attention from the first page all the way to the last. Frankly, it hypnotized me."--NPR's All Things Considered

"[Auster's] magic has never flourished more fully than it does in Man in the Dark. . . . The novel delivers intense reading pleasure from start to finish."--Orlando Sentinel

"Provoking and entertaining in brilliant fashion . . . [Auster] draws you into a literary maze and sets you marveling at how he will get you out."--The Seattle Times

"Intricately layered, playful with the notions of 'real' and 'unreal' . . . Man in the Dark is the work of a master, confident of his powers to move readers smoothly between worlds, totally in control of setting, pace, and dialogue. . . . A deep, fraught book."--Daily Kos

"Auster has crafted a stirring, politically charged portrait of the power of fiction."--The Star-Ledger (Newark)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paul Auster

  • PAUL AUSTER is the bestselling author of Travels in the Scriptorium, The Brooklyn Follies, and Oracle Night. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Paul Auster Lisbeth Salas Soto
    Paul Auster
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Available Formats and Book Details

Man in the Dark

A Novel

Paul Auster

Washington Post Best Books of the Year

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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