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LIVE from the NYPL: Man in the Dark & Voice Over: Paul Auster & Céline Curiol

September 24, 2008

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In Céline Curiol's Voice Over, a lonely young woman works as an announcer in Paris's Gare du Nord, surrounded by people yet separate from them. Alone she waits for a man who loves another. In her solitude, she wanders the streets of the modern city, playing on the edge of danger, seeking connection.

"I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American Wilderness." So begins Paul Auster's Man in the Dark. The man thinking these thoughts is a retired book critic who imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America, the twin towers did not fall, and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union, and a bloody civil war ensued.

Two novelists come together to talk about living and writing in a world of ordinary joys, contradictions, and impulses while always being capable of the most grotesque violence.

photo of Paul Auster by Lotte Hansen and photo of Céline Curiol by Isabelle Lion

About Paul Auster

Paul Auster is the author of numerous novels including The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions, and City of Glass. His nonfiction works include The Invention of Solitude and The Art of Hunger. He edited I Thought My Father Was God, the NPR National Story Project Anthology. Auster has also written screenplays including Smoke and Lulu on the Bridge. He recently wrote and directed The Inner Life of Martin Frost, which premiered at New York's New Directors/New Films Festival in 2007. He lives in Brooklyn.



About Céline Curiol

Céline Curiol is a journalist who has worked for various French media, including Libération, Radio France, and BBC Afrique. Her first novel Voix sans issue has been translated into fourteen languages, and will be released September 2008 in English in the US under the title Voice Over. Her second novel Permission and her travel book on Sierra Leone have recently been published in France. Originally from Lyon, Curiol lives in New York City, where she is at work on her third novel.