"One of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer." (Le Monde). Hand to Mouth tells the story of the young Paul Auster's struggle to stay afloat. By turns poignant and comic, Auster's memoir is essentially a book about money - and what it means not to have it. From one odd job to the next, from one failed scheme to ...
"One of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer." (Le Monde). Hand to Mouth tells the story of the young Paul Auster's struggle to stay afloat. By turns poignant and comic, Auster's memoir is essentially a book about money - and what it means not to have it. From one odd job to the next, from one failed scheme to another, Auster investigates his own stubborn compulsion to make art and, in the process, treats us to a series of remarkable adventures and unforgettable encounters. The book ends with three of the longest footnotes in literary history: a card game, a thriller about baseball, and three short plays. Hand to Mouth is essential reading for anyone interested in Paul Auster, in the figure of the struggling artist, in the nature of poverty, or in baseball.
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New. Tight binding with clean text. New. First edition with full number line. Cover has slight shelfwear. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 164 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Interesting memoir of Auster's early life as a writer. Also included in three lengthy appendices are three plays, a description of a card baseball game, and his first novel-Squeeze Play which he wrote under the pseudonym Paul Benjamin.
Without hitting the descriptive high notes of Hemmingway's a Moveable Feast, Auster's memoir of living the starving artist's life will encourage other writers to embrace living the dream of novel writing without having unrealistic expectations of what it is like to live it.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-06-30 Auster, the highly talented novelist (New York Trilogy), poet and filmmaker (Smoke) was not always as successful as he is now, and the title section of this oddly conceived book (most of which is comprised of Auster's unpublished work) is a penetrating memoir of a young writer desperately trying to make his way. Seldom has the helpless obsession, utter marginality and crushing poverty of the unsuccessful author been better conveyed than here; even the work Auster did purely for the money, forsaking his literary ambitions, didn't come off, and the memoir ends with recognition nowhere in sight. The rest of the volume, made up of what the publisher coyly calls "three of the longest footnotes in literary history," shows us some of the material that failed. There are three short plays (the kind that get staged at off-off-Broadway theaters); an ingenious card game that simulates baseball (an Auster passion), which, surprisingly, has never been marketed; and a brief but absorbing private-eye novel, Squeeze Play. As Auster justly remarks, "As an example of the genre, it seemed no worse than many others I had read, much better than some." It is a noirish tale of the death of a baseball idol with a strange obsession, and apart from some heavy-handed flip dialogue and rote violence, it broods along stylishly enough. (The novel was ultimately published by Avon, netting Auster a sum in the high three figures.) As a cautionary tale for writers, this is a superb book; as an addition to an oeuvre, it's on the slight side. Author tour. (Sept.)
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