As the author of over 18 novels, several screenplays and a smattering of poetry books, Paul Auster is one of our most celebrated and prolific writers. But despite his epic productivity, it’s hard for him to describe his creative process —?or how it informed his new book,?“Sunset Park.”

“It’s hard to explain how difficult writing a novel is; you don’t sit down and decide things. They are given to you,” he confesses. “And these conversations are frustrating. You want to say, ‘Read the book. That’s where you get the answers.’”

But for the purpose of this article, we’ll give you some back story: “Sunset Park” revolves around a collective of educated-yet-broke artists squatting in an abandoned home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Through the house, Auster is able to address one of the main themes of the story: dispossession. When the reader meets the protagonist, Miles, he’s cleaning out foreclosed homes in Florida and taking photographs of the items left behind, a trait Auster knows well — the home in “Sunset Park”?is based on an actual house Auster stumbled upon and photographed. “When I went back, it was demolished. Gone,”?he says. “Miles became obsessed with taking photographs of the things left behind, and all I have left is just pictures.”

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