By Paul Auster
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805054071, 181pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 1999
List Price: $22.00*
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Meet Mr. Bones, the canine hero of Paul Auster's remarkable new novel, Timbuktu. Mr. Bones is the sidekick and confidant of Willy G. Christmas, the brilliant, troubled, and altogether original poet-saint from Brooklyn. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza before them, they sally forth on a last great adventure, heading for Baltimore, Maryland in search of Willy's high school teacher, Bea Swanson. Years have passed since Willy last saw his beloved mentor, who knew him in his previous incarnation as William Gurevitch, the son of Polish war refugees. But is Mrs. Swanson still alive? And if she isn't, what will prevent Willy from vanishing into that other world known as Timbuktu?
Mr. Bones is our witness. Although he walks on four legs and cannot speak, he can think, and out of his thoughts Auster has spun one of the richest, most compelling tales in recent American fiction. By turns comic, poignant, and tragic, Timbuktu is above all a love story. Written with a scintillating verbal energy, it takes us into the heart of a singularly pure and passionate character, an unforgettable dog who has much to teach us about our own humanity.
Paul Auster's novels, including the New York Trilogy, are canonical reading for fans of American literature all over the world. Auster wrote the screenplay for the internationally acclaimed film Smoke. The screenplay of his new film, Lulu on the Bridge (0-8050-5978-4) and his memoir Hand to Mouth (0-8050-5406-5) are available from Owl Books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.