"Paul Auster" provides the first extended analysis of Auster's essays, poetry, fiction, films and collaborative projects. It explores his key themes of identity; language and writing; metropolitan living and community; and storytelling and illusion. By tracing how Auster's representations of New York and city life have matured from a position of urban nihilism to qualified optimism, the book shows how the variety of forms he works in influences the treatment of his central concerns. The chapters are organised around gradually extending spaces to reflect the way in which Auster's work broadens its focus, beginning with the poet's room and finishing with the global metropolis of New York: his home city and often his muse. The book uses Auster's published and unpublished literary essays to explain the shifts from the dense and introspective poems of the 70s, through the metropolitan fictions of the 80s and early 90s, to the relatively optimistic and critically acclaimed films, and his return to fiction in recent years. The influence on Auster of American writers such as Poe, Hawthorne and the Objectivist poets, and that of European modernists such as Kafka and Hamsun is explored in depth. Because of Auster's consistent concern with living in New York, urban commentators provide important insights into the metropolitan experiences of Auster's central characters. Benjamin's description of the flaneur, for example, along with de Certeau's discussion of walking in New York, provide the cultural context for the exploration of Auster's urban stories. This book will be invaluable for general readers, students and specialists.