Alan Rafferty

Accident-Prone Author

Oracle Night

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Faber & Faber 243pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

Collected Prose: Autobiographical Writings, True Stories, Critical Essays, Prefaces and Collaborations with Artists

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Faber & Faber 512pp £25 order from our bookshop

IN 1999 PAUL Auster instigated the National Story Project in America. The idea was that people would submit anecdotes and other factual accounts which ‘defied our expectations about the world … in other words, true stories that sounded like fiction’. There were over four thousand entries, and the resulting radio shows and book constitute a remarkable archive of what Auster called ‘reports from the front lines of personal experience’. However, the project also served as an investigation into one of the quandaries at the centre of Auster’s work: what makes a story true?

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