In the High Peaks

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Paul Auster: Hand to Mouth

By hook or by crook, I will publish a post today.

I mentioned that I would tell you about the contents of several of the exciting book packages that arrived for me during February and March. One purchase I'm very proud to add to my Paul Auster collection is a hardcover edition of Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure, the memoir he published in 1997 about his years as a young, starving writer in New York City. (I searched and searched online for the original dustjacket photo of Auster as a young man and found it on this ARC.) ''My marriage ended in divorce, my work as a writer foundered, and I was overwhelmed by money problems... [a] constant, grinding, almost suffocating lack of money that poisoned my soul and kept me in a state of never-ending panic.'' At times Auster took extraordinary steps to pull a few cents together--he raised worms in his basement (!) and did a stint as a merchant marine, to name just a couple of the many eye-popping options.

Another title I purchased (this time on the Nook) is Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I started reading it, all gung ho, when I was confronted head-on with my own sense of an ending. I put the book aside at that point but have plans to return to it soon.

Also waiting is Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child. I haven't read his 2004 Booker-Prize-winning novel, but this latest book sounded very interesting to me.

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