Picture this: a green-as-a-gremlin Brooklyn newbie, fresh off the Fung Wah Bus, dines at one of the many French bistros that punctuate Park Slope. Sitting with an old friend and picking at a lackluster plate of coq au vin, this Boston immigrant (yes, me) has a flash of recognition when he notices the occupant of a nearby table. After a few minutes of discreet whispering and rifling through my mind's file cabinet, I realize that this handsome man with the wild mane and intense eyes is author Paul Auster. I had just read The New York Trilogy and quite enjoyed it, so I was delighted by this unexpected brush with literary celebrity right here in my new home.
At a recent interview with Mr. Auster at his Park Slope home, I recounted this story. He warmly expressed his happiness at being able to unwittingly welcome me to the neighborhood he loves. Here are some excerpts from that interview where he expounds on his love of cinema, Dutch cigars, Park Slope, and La Bagel Delight.
Paul Auster appears at BAM for a Q&A following a screening of Smoke on Monday, December 19 at 6:50pm.