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- Publisher: FABER & FABER
- Format: Paperback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 192mm x 22mm | 222g
- Publication date: 1 February 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0571142206
- ISBN 13: 9780571142200
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Sales rank: 30,636
'It was the summer that men first walked on the moon. I was very young back then, but did not believe there would ever be a future. I wanted to live dangerously, to push myself as far as I could go, and then see what happened when I got there.' So begins the mesmerising narrative of Marco Stanley Fogg - orphan, child of the 1960s, a quester by nature. Moon Palace is his story - a novel that spans three generations, from the early years of this century to the first lunar landings, and moves from the canyons of Manhattan to the cruelly beautiful landscape of the American West. Filled with suspense, unlikely coincidences, wrenching tragedies and marvellous flights of lyricism and erudition, the novel carries the reader effortlessly along with Marco's search - for love, for his unknown father, and for the key to the elusive riddle of his origins and his fate. "Clever: very. Surprising: always - Auster is a master." (The Times).
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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.
Like the best 18th-century fiction, this witty and wildly inventive novel revels in its implausibilities, and it does so with an attention to character and cosmos worthy of Swift, Fielding, or Sterne. Auster (The New York Trilogy, In the Country of Last Things) here fashions three personal histories that span the 20th-century and range across the American landscape, from the chaotic city to the desolate frontier. Marco Stanley Fogg, illegitimate and orphaned at 11, seems a victim of fate and a child of his time. At Columbia University during the 60's, Marco, always an oddball and outsider while growing up with his bachelor uncle in Chicago, begins his descent into nothingness, hoping to create from his screwy life a work of art. At best, he becomes a minimalist artifact, as he abandons his few friends and possessions, and makes a job of daily survival. Soon after graduation, this restless explorer of the self takes to the streets, sleeping in Central Park, eating from trash bins, and discovering the meaning of utter loneliness. Eventually saved from self-destruction, Marco finds love with the enigmatic Kitty Wu - a beautiful "orphan in the storm" herself- and a job with Thomas Effing - a dying octogenarian who chooses Marco as his biographer. This cantankerous codger turns out to be "a kindred spirit," a former painter who took advantage of a disastrous trip out West in 1916, and created a new identity after he was presumed dead. With his actual death planned for the near future, Effing wants the son he never met to know the truth. After Effing's death, Solomon, the abandoned son, spins his tragic tale to Marco as well. An indiscretion with a 19-year-old student back in the 50's led this "scholarly curmudgeon" on a path to academic obscurity and personal dejection. The stories of Marco, Effing, and Solomon, each told in their time and sharing a similar design, suggest not only a synchronicity of life cycles, but also prove to have a more intimate connection - a connection discovered too late to save Marco from yet another encounter with absolute loneliness. Coming so soon after a string of masterly little novels, Auster's latest attests to the expansiveness of his vision and the deepening of his voice. (Kirkus Reviews)