Tom, a character in The Brooklyn Follies, (2005) Paul Auster's most recent novel, calls writing “a disease…what you might call an infection or influenza of the spirit, and therefore it could strike anyone at any time” (148/149). Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 3rd in 1947, Auster caught his own creative virus in his late teens. A sporty, popular child, he became a sullen, withdrawn adolescent. In 1965 he left his suburban home for Colombia University in New York, where he studied English Literature, read “like a demon” (The Guardian, October 26th, 2002) and began to write stories.
Whether he was consciously seeking the kind of adventures that sensitive, literary young men have always sought, or simply keen to escape the narrow confines of his suburban upbringing,
Citation: Holcombe, Garan. "Paul Auster". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=187, accessed 30 November 2023.]