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The Book: The Top Ten

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

Michael Chabon

1. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1964).
2.Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962).
3. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (1921).
4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813).
6. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1836–47).
7. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
8. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667).
9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (1985).
10. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953).

Classic List

Michael Cunningham

1. King Lear by William Shakespeare (1605).
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857).
3. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855–91).
4. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925).
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).
7. Dubliners by James Joyce (1916).
8. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930).
9. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898).
10. The stories of Flannery O’Connor (for their unerring narrative focus) (1925–64).

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