An eclectic collection of miscellaneous thoughts, Winter Journal is exactly what the title asserts. Always brutally honest, Auster reflects upon his sixty-three years thus far, paying special attention to the many trials and tribulations his body has withstood throughout its lifetime, the myriad places he has called home, those he has loved over the years, and (though not as explicitly as some would have you believe) his mother.
While this all sounds rather pedestrian, I assure you, Auster renders it fascinating. Of course, it helps to be an Auster fan where this book is concerned. As a work of nonfiction, it reveals much about the man and offers insight into his fiction. However, even if this is one’s first encounter with Auster, the expert writing and vivid description will titillate.
Furthermore, and I can’t emphasize it enough, Auster’s honesty is astounding. I’m amazed at what he’s willing to divulge about himself, especially because this is a man who doesn’t need to take chances anymore. His name could sell his book alone. Fortunately, Auster is always the inventor, forever the innovator, and so he invites us into his life and discusses things I wouldn’t tell my best friend. Perhaps this is why he has become so successful over time – he has no fear when it comes to the written word.
To read this book is to experience Auster’s life itself, and I can offer no author a greater compliment than that.