It's the birthday of the man who said: "Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don't choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you're not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days." Paul Auster, (books by this author) born in Newark, New Jersey (1947), is the author of The New York Trilogy (1985–86),a set of idiosyncratic detective stories that deal with questions of identity and existential thought, as well as a memoir, The Invention of Solitude (1982), and several other books, including the novels Moon Palace (1989), Oracle Night (2004), The Brooklyn Follies (2005), and recently Man in the Dark (2008) and Invisible (2009).
Paul Auster said: "I don't know why I do what I do. If I did know, I probably wouldn't feel the need to do it. ... Surely it is an odd way to spend your life — sitting alone in a room with a pen in your hand, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, struggling to put words on pieces of paper in order to give birth to what does not exist — except in your head. Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing? The only answer I have ever been able to come up with is: because you have to, because you have no choice.