Paul Auster

Acclaimed author, Foundation keynote speaker shares insights on interplay between French and American literature

November 14, 2014

Paul Auster

Acclaimed author Paul Auster joined the French-American Foundation and The Library of America for the conference and panel discussion, “Gatekeepers of the French and American Literary Heritage,” on November 14, 2014. After delivering keynote remarks about the important relationship between French and American literary traditions and institutions (hear full comments here), he joined the Foundation to answer a few questions about his own work and the transatlantic literary relationship.

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. In 2006, he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature. Among his other honors are the Prix Médicis Étranger for Leviathan, the Independent Spirit Award for the screenplay of Smoke, and the Premio Napoli for Sunset Park. He has also been a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (The Book of Illusions), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (The Music of Chance), and the Edgar Award (City of Glass). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His work has been translated into 43 languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


We’re delighted that you could join the French-American Foundation and the Library of America as a keynote speaker for our conference exploring the relationship between The Library of America and La Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. It was great to hear your insights on the literary and intellectual exchange between these two nations. What has been your experience with French literature, and how has it impacted your own work?

More generally, what is the interplay between French and American literature, as we explored in today’s panel discussion.

What is the significance of literary institutions such as The Library of America or La Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in creating a national literary heritage, canon, or tradition?