In ‘Winter Journal’, Auster presents the abandonment of his family by his father from his mother’s point of view: her struggle as a single mother, love found again late in life, her troubled later years and her death: and the subsequent anxiety attacks Auster suffered in the face of her death.
‘You think it will never happen to you, that it cannot happen to you, that you are the only person world to whom none of these things will ever happen, and then, one by one, they all begin to happen to you, in the same way they happen to everyone else.‘
In Winter Journal, Paul Auster moves through the events of his life in a series of memories grasped from the point of view of his life now: playing baseball as a teenager; participating in the anti-Vietnam demonstrations at Columbia University; seeking out prostitutes in Paris, almost killing his second wife and child in a car accident; falling in and out of live with his first wife; the ‘scalding, epiphanic moment of clarity’ in 1978 that set him on a new course as a writer.
Winter Journal is a poignant memoir of ageing and memory, written with all the characteristic subtlety, imagination and insight that readers of Paul Auster have come to cherish.
‘An examination of the emotions of a man growing old . . . this book has much to recommend it, and Auster is unsparingly honest about himself.’ Financial Times