Wednesday, 3 August 2016



BOOK 155: THE NEW YORK TRILOGY: PAUL AUSTER

Originally published sequentially as City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986), it has since been collected into a single volume.

Ostensibly presented as detective fiction, the stories of The New York Trilogy have been described as "meta-detective-fiction", "anti-detective fiction", "mysteries about mysteries", a "strangely humorous working of the detective novel", "very soft-boiled", a "metamystery" and a "mixture between the detective story and the nouveau roman", This may classify Auster as a postmodern writer whose works are influenced by the "classical literary movement" of American postmodernism through the 1960s and 70s. There is, however, "a certain coherence in the narrative discourse, a neo-realistic approach and a show of responsibility for social and moral aspects going beyond mere metafictional and subversive elements" which distinguish him from a "traditional" postmodern writer. The New York Trilogy is a particular form of postmodern detective fiction which still uses well-known elements of the detective novel (the classical and hardboiled varieties, for example) but also creates a new form that links "the traditional features of the genre with the experimental, metafictional and ironic features of postmodernism."

ADAPTATIONS: City of Glass was adapted in 1994 into a critically acclaimed experimental graphic novel by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli. It was published as City of Glass: A Graphic Mystery in 2004.
In 2009, Audible.com produced an audio version of The New York Trilogy, narrated by Joe Barrett, as part of its Modern Vanguard line of audiobooks.
In 2016, Edward Einhorn adapted City of Glass as a play Off-Broadway, at the New Ohio.




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