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Travels in the Scriptorium

Paul Auster

Travels in the Scriptorium is Paul Auster’s work of eerie minimalism – in the tradition of Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter, it is nonetheless a profoundly contemporary work of mystery.

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An old man sits in a room, with a single door and window, a bed, a desk and a chair. Each day he awakes with no memory, unsure of whether or not he is locked into the room. Attached to the few objects around him are one-word, hand-written labels, and on the desk is a series of vaguely familiar black-and-white photographs and four piles of paper. Then a middle-aged woman called Anna enters and talks of pills and treatment, but also of love and promises.

Who is this Mr Blank, and what is his fate? What does Anna represent from his past – and will he have enough time to ever make sense of the clues that arise?

After the huge success of The Brooklyn Follies, his new novel sees Auster return to the metaphysical territory familiar from his enormously influential The New York Trilogy. A dark puzzle, and a game that implicates both reader and writer alike, Travels in the Scriptorium is a mind-altering exploration of language, responsibility and the passage of time.

Travels in the Scriptorium returns to . . . the nihilistic gaiety of Beckett (in particular Krapp) or the sub-dermal violence of Pinter.’ New Statesman

Critic Reviews

You have to hand it to Auster - he's still the most compelling fortune teller in the postmodernist carnival

Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

It is as if Auster has finally given himself full reign ... Auster deftly manages a large cast of vividly realised characters whose moments of interaction are cause for constant surprise ... In short, The Book of Illusions is a stunning feat of imagination and likely the best book that Auster has written.

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Oracle Night is a novel so compelling, so seamlessly written, that it is almost perfect

Scotland on Sunday

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Man in the Dark, The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other honours are the Independent…

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