National Bestseller A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Nathan Glass has come to Brooklyn to die. Divorced, retired, estranged from his only daughter, the former life insurance salesman seeks only solitude and anonymity. Then Glass encounters his long-lost nephew, Tom Wood, who is working in a local bookstore--a far cry from the brilliant academic career Tom had begun when Nathan saw him last. Tom's boss is the colorful and charismatic Harry Brightman--a.k.a. Harry Dunkel--once the owner of a Chicago art gallery, whom fate has also brought to the "ancient kingdom of Brooklyn, New York." Through Tom and Harry, Nathan's world gradually broadens to include a new circle of acquaintances. He soon finds himself drawn into a scam involving a forged page of The Scarlet Letter, and begins to undertake his own literary venture, The Book of Human Folly, an account of "every blunder, every pratfall, every embarrassment, every idiocy, every foible, and every inane act I have committed during my long and checkered career as a man."
The Brooklyn Follies is Paul Auster's warmest, most exuberant novel, a moving, unforgettable hymn to the glories and mysteries of ordinary human life.
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Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Oracle Night, The Book of Illusions, and Timbuktu. I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project anthology, which he edited, was also a national bestseller. His work has been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I opened our Rand McNally Road Atlas and studied the map of Vermont. "Get off at Exit Three," I said to Tom. "We're looking for Route Thirty, which squiggles up diagonally to the northwest. After about forty miles, we'll start bobbing and weaving until we get to Rutland, find Route Seven, and take that straight to Burlington."
Why do I linger over these trivial details? Because the truth of the story lies in the details, and I have no choice but to tell the story exactly as it happened. If we hadn't made that decision to get off the highway at Brattleboro and follow our noses to Route Thirty, many of the events in this book never would have taken place. I am thinking especially of Tom when I say that. Both Lucy and I profited from the decision as well, but for Tom, the long-suffering hero of these Brooklyn Follies, it was probably the most important decision of his life. At the time, he had no inkling of the
consequences, no knowledge of the whirlwind he had set in motion. Like Kafka's doll, he thought he was simply looking for a change of scenery, but because he left one road and took another, Fortune unexpectedly reached out her arms to him and carried our boy into a different world.
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