Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Brooklyn Follies

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Brooklyn Follies

by Paul Auster

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Paul Benjamin Auster was born on February 3, 1947 in Newark, New Jersey.  His father, Samuel Auster, was a landlord; his mother, Queenie was about 13 years younger than her husband; the marriage was not a happy one.

Auster's passion for reading began when he was about 12 and his uncle, Allen Mandelbaum (a professor of Italian literature, a poet, and a prolific translator) left several boxes of books in storage in the Auster's house while he traveled to Europe.  Paul read the books avidly and developed an interest in writing and literature that further accentuated his feeling that he was "an internal émigré, an exile in my own house." (from his memoir, Hand to Mouth)

He went to school in Maplewood, New Jersey and then to Columbia University.  In 1967 he left the USA to attend Columbia's Junior Year Abroad in Paris, but found it uninspiring and undemanding so quit college and lived in a small hotel in Paris, before returning to the USA where he was reinstated at Columbia.  A high lottery number saved him from worrying too much about being drafted during the Vietnam War.  Instead he took a job with the Census Bureau and began working on In The Country of Last Things and Moon Palace, which he would not finish until many years later.   In the early 70s he moved to France where he worked as a translator. He returned to the USA in 1974. 

In 1979 his father died leaving him an inheritance that, although not huge, was sufficient to alleviate his immediate money worries and allow him to focus on his writing; Over a 30 year career he has published many volumes of poetry and essays, plus about 20 novels which have been translated into about thirty languages. He is arguably best known for his three experimental detective stories collectively referred to as The New York Trilogy (City of Glass, 1985; Ghosts, 1986; The Locked Room, 1986). He lives in Brooklyn, New York. More about Auster at BookBrowse.

Coming Soon: Travels in the Scriptorium (Jan '07):
"While Auster's lean, poker-faced prose creates a satisfyingly claustrophobic allegory, the tidy, self-referential ending lends a writing-exercise patina to the work." - PW.
"Rarely has a novelist pulled the strings of his puppetry more transparently, as ardent fans may find this meta-fictional fable profound, while others may dismiss it as a literary parlor trick." - Kirkus.

This article was originally published in January 2006, and has been updated for the October 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Leavers
    The Leavers
    by Lisa Ko
    The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school. A navy blue...
  • Book Jacket: Wonderful Feels Like This
    Wonderful Feels Like This
    by Sara Lovestam
    High school is hard; or perhaps, more accurately, growing up and finding oneself is hard. This is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -