Here and Now: Letters (2008-2011)
Here and Now is a candid portrait of the friendship and personalities of New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster and Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee. This three-year exchange began when the novelists, longtime admirers of one another’s work, met in February 2008. Soon after, Coetzee’s first letter reached Auster, contemplating friendships—“how they arise, why they last”—and suggesting correspondence as a way to “God willing, strike sparks off each other.” Both intimate and amusing, this collection holds their thoughts and opinions on topics ranging from sports, politics, and critics to love, marriage, and creating works of literary art.
You can read “The Better Player,” an excerpt from Here and Now, in The New Yorker.
“Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee’s collected correspondence, “Here and Now,” is all about new beginnings…. a series of collaborative inquiries and an extended meditation on the processes of friendship, the book has something substantive to offer.” — Martin Riker, The New York Times
“Here and Now might be described as snack food for serious readers. In its pages, two fine novelists discuss friendship, sports, the writing life, politics, cellphones, Samuel Beckett, computers, incest, the letter K, Israel, favorite films, vicious reviewers, old age, perfectionism and much else…This is civilized discourse between two cultivated and sophisticated men.” — Michael Dirda, Washington Post
“A startling portrait of both men entering old age with the confidence to reveal the more vulnerable dimensions of their private selves, in a manner not accessible through fiction or memoir.” — Dimitri Nasrallah, Toronto Star
“Amiable and revealing missives from two remarkable minds.” — Kirkus Reviews
– Whitley Abell