Discussing his latest novel, Man in the Dark, Paul Auster tells The Guardian about the root of his frustrations in recent years.
If there is something getting Auster’s goat, it’s American politics. It was his disgust at the outcome of the 2000 US elections that sparked the story-within-a-story at the heart of Man in the Dark, about a counterfactual US where civil war reigns and New York leads a movement to form the Independent States of America.
“It’s a war of bullets and bombs, whereas the divisions in the US now are similar to a civil war, but we’re fighting it with words and ideas,” he says.
He can pinpoint the idea for his latest story to his “frustration and disgust after the 2000 elections … Gore won, Gore was elected president, and it was taken away from him by political and legal manoeuvering, and ever since then I’ve had this eerie feeling of being in some parallel world, some world we didn’t ask for but we nevertheless got.