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Auster’s scrapbook

Paul Auster makes little distinction between fictional and real life stories. His literary world is a scrapbook in which anyone's biography can be pasted

By Emran Mian   December 2005

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster (Faber, £16.99)

I don’t think there is any contemporary writer who gets as much fun out of naming his characters as Paul Auster. The three main characters in his new novel are called Wood, Glass (nephew and uncle—resembling respectively the two sides of the family) and Brightman (real name: Dunkel, meaning dark). But the naming isn’t only for fun.

Nathan Glass is the narrator of the book and the compiler of the Follies. He moves to Brooklyn “looking for a quiet place to die” after a career in insurance. The Follies are a collection…

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