Review: “Baumgartner”

Love and grief hold equal measure in Paul Auster’s writerly novel about the writing (and thinking) life.

It follows the noted author and retiring philosophy professor Sy Baumgartner as he recovers from the death of his beloved and spirited wife Anna.

It shifts and slips between past, present and a somewhat fraught future as the author writes his latest book amid frayed and fraying memories. Sucker-punched by his own imagination.

There’s lots of writing and writing about writing. It is Paul Auster, after all. With more than an occasional nod to the pitfalls (and pratfalls) of ageing.

A deft roman-à-clef of sorts that transposes Park Slope for Princeton and tells stories within stories.

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