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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Oracle Night

Oracle Night

A Novel

Paul Auster

Henry Holt and Co.


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.

Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee

From Oracle Night:

It was the second bewildering conversation we'd had in the past eighteen hours. Once again, Grace had been hinting at something she refused to name, some kind of inner turmoil that seemed to be dogging her conscience,...

Praise for Oracle Night

“As Auster's many admirers know, his narrative voice is as hypnotic as that of the Ancient Mariner. Start one of his books and by page two you cannot choose but hear.” —Michael Dirda, The New York Review of Books

“Compulsively readable yet wonderfully complex and unsettling. The book is both a babushka doll of stories within stories and a literary Rubik's Cube, the solution of which, if there is one, is the very nature of reality.” —The Boston Globe

“Auster shines as a fabulist and tale-teller, putting a high-modernist gloss on noir.” —The New Yorker

“A joy to read.” —The Economist

“It's urban mysticism, a poetry of the hidden and the almost forgotten, with the supernatural power deriving equally from the city and the novelist's imagination. . . . A snow globe of a novel.” —New York magazine

Oracle Night is a triumph for novelist Auster. It cements his growing reputation as one of America's most inventive and original writers.” —The Seattle Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Paul Auster

Paul Auster's most recent novel, The Book of Illusions (0-312-42181-8), was a national bestseller, as was I Thought My Father Was God (0-312-42100-1), the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

image of Paul Austero
Lotte Hansen

Paul Auster

Read Author Interview at Pop Matters