If playwright Edward Einhorn hadn’t been able to think like a gumshoe, he never would have gotten permission to make a theater adaptation of Brooklyn novelist Paul Auster‘s “City of Glass” — one of the best, and most surreal, detective-style novels of the last half century.
But luck and persistence were on the 45-year-old Einhorn’s side, who used his amateur detective skills to put himself and his idea in front of the 69-year-old author.
“I sought out Paul,” he tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? in an exclusive telephone interview.
“I found out where he was going to be and I approached him about doing it. To my pleasure he was interested and very responsive. … I figured I would talk to him for a minute or two and just introduce the idea. I wasn’t going to take up too much of his time. But he actually pursued it with a lot more questions and we talked about it longer than expected.
“He seemed very open to the idea.”
“City of Glass,” published in 1986, was the first of three short novels in Auster’s “New York Trilogy.” It tells a surreal story of Daniel Quinn, a writer, who gets a call from someone who thinks he’s a private detective named Paul Auster. The chance call launches a surreal, only-in-New-York narrative that raises questions about sanity, identity, and reality.
It was an instant cult hit and catapulted Auster into literary superstardom at age 39.