Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early FailurePaperback
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- Publisher: FABER & FABER
- Format: Paperback | 448 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 192mm x 38mm | 281g
- Publication date: 16 November 1998
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0571195970
- ISBN 13: 9780571195978
- Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
- Sales rank: 242,215
"One of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer." (Le Monde). Hand to Mouth tells the story of the young Paul Auster's struggle to stay afloat. By turns poignant and comic, Auster's memoir is essentially a book about money - and what it means not to have it. From one odd job to the next, from one failed scheme to another, Auster investigates his own stubborn compulsion to make art and, in the process, treats us to a series of remarkable adventures and unforgettable encounters. The book ends with three of the longest footnotes in literary history: a card game, a thriller about baseball, and three short plays. Hand to Mouth is essential reading for anyone interested in Paul Auster, in the figure of the struggling artist, in the nature of poverty, or in baseball.
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Paul Auster is the best-selling author of Invisible, Moon Palace, Mr Vertigo, 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 Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke and the Prix Medicis Etranger for Leviathan. He has also been short-listed for both the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions) and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance). His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
â€œDelightful...A gracious and humane tale...One can only marvel at Austerâ€™s artistry. â€”T"he Boston Sunday Globe" â€œAuster writes in a voice so clear, so mesmerizing, and so profound...[he] is unafraid of his own power, precisely because he has acknowledged humiliationâ€™s alchemy, its way of letting words vibrate at whatever weird, golden velocity they wish, "Hand to Mouth "vibrates...beautiful.â€ â€”Wayne Koestenbaum, "Bookforum" â€œRequired, inspiring reading for Auster-holics and aspiring writers.â€ â€”"Kirkus Reviews" â€œAn engaging account of his early attempts to stay afloat as a writer...with a colorful cast of sharply etched characters who he meets along the way.â€ â€”"Chicago Tribune" â€œAs a cautionary tale for writers, this is a superb book.â€ â€”"Publishers Weekly"
Auster's early years as a writer were an epic struggle, constantly poised on the knife-edge of poverty while stubbornly clinging to the creative impetus that consumed him. Both humorous and poignant, this is an engrossing account of a life dedicated to art. More personal detail would have been welcome, but nevertheless, this book is a fascinating read if you discount the redundant footnotes added for impressive weightiness. (Kirkus UK)