Paul Auster's Top Ten List

In 1982 Paul Auster published debuted with a classic memoir about life, death and the writing life, The Invention of Solitude. Now 65 and one of America’s most accomplished writers, he has delivered a second direct reflection on his life, Winter Journal.

“A collection of fragmentary reminiscences held together by serious authorial charm,” says Ed Wright in The Australian, “[it] comes across as a man living comfortably with a destiny and posterity largely achieved. … full of the grace, charm, playfulness and intellectual curiosity that makes Auster such pleasurable and worthwhile company.”

Watch Paul read from Winter Journal.

Read the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s review of Winter Journal.

Read James Wood’s 2009 New Yorker critique of Paul’s novels.

Read The Paris Review’s 2003 interview with Paul.

Watch John Freeman’s Freeman’s 2009 interview with Paul.


Paul Auster’s Top Ten List

1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605, 1615).

2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).

3. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866).

5. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).

6. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).

7. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850).

8. The Castle by Franz Kafka (1926).

9. Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, a trilogy by Samuel Beckett (1951–54).

10. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759–67). 

New List

Jonathan Franzen

1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880).
2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
3. The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925).
4. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925).
6. Absalom, Abalom! by William Faulkner (1936).
7. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (1839).
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).
9. The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead (1940).
10. Independent People by Halldór Laxness (1934).


Classic List

Mary Gaitskill

1. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).
2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).
3. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962).
4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1853).
5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857).
6. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
7. Gusev by Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
8. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (1904).
9. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842).
10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (1831).

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