Travels in the Scriptorium

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Travels in the Scriptorium
First edition
AuthorPaul Auster
CountryUnited States
PublisherHenry Holt and Co.
Publication date
January 23, 2007
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages160 pp
813/.54 22
LC ClassPS3551.U77 T73 2007
Preceded byThe Brooklyn Follies 
Followed byMan in the Dark 

Travels in the Scriptorium is a novel by Paul Auster first published in 2007.

Elements from most past Auster novels all converge in this book: every character other than the protagonist, Mr. Blank, is taken from a previous novel, with yet more characters mentioned peripherally.


An old man is disoriented within an unknown chamber and has no memory about who he is or how he has arrived there. He tries to understand something from the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching for reasons and a method to exit.

Determining that he is locked in, the man — identified only as Mr. Blank — begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an alternate world the man doesn't recognize. Nevertheless, the pages seem to have been left for him, along with a haunting set of photographs. As the day passes, various characters call on the man in his cell — vaguely familiar people, some who seem to resent him for crimes he can't remember — and each brings frustrating hints of his identity and his past. All the while an overhead camera clicks and clicks, recording his movements, and a microphone records every sound in the room. Someone is watching.

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