Brooklyn Bookbeat: Auster and Coetzee publish four years’ worth of letters

New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster and Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee are publishing a fascinating book titled “Here and Now: Letters 2008-2011.” On sale March 11, the book is comprised of letters the authors wrote to each other over the course of four years. Two of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed writers, Auster and Coetzee now offer readers a glimpse into their personal lives.

The two men did not meet until February 2008, even though they had been reading each other’s work for years. Not long after meeting, Auster received a letter from Coetzee: “I have never collaborated with anyone before . . . but with you I think it might be fun, and we might even, God willing, strike sparks off each other.”

“Here and Now” is the result of that collaboration: the epistolary story of two great writers who became great friends. This volume contains their letters from 2008 to 2011. Over those years their correspondence touched on nearly every subject, from sports to fatherhood, film festivals to incest, philosophy to politics, from the financial crisis to art, death, family, marriage, friendship, and love—erotic and otherwise. It offers an intimate and often amusing portrait of these two great men as they write about many aspects of life.

Rather than an academic exchange, these letters are witty, amusing, and insightful. Auster’s and Coetzee’s admirers will be eager to read a book that so brilliantly reveals the inner thoughts and everyday lives of these two private authors. 

Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

J.M. Coetzee is the author of twenty books, which have been translated into many languages. He is the first author to be awarded the Booker Prize twice, first for The Life & Times of Michael K and then for Disgrace. In 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. A native of South Africa, he now lives in Australia.