I was born just three years before it 's protagonist, Archie Ferguson, and nine days after his author, Paul Auster.
But there are certain literary problems with the remise of alternative lives that I do n't think Auster has worked through thoroughly, at least not for my purposes.
So, which relationships should the author hoose to modify in alternative life-stories?
The bumps and nudges Auster introduces in each of Mcpherso 's lives are like random variables in a gigantic mathematical equation.
How can an author maintain control over the cascading possibilities in a way that still has some kin of narrative sense?
How does the reader, for that matter, keep track of the partially congruent lives and the not-quite-the-same protagonists as they float through an interweaved existence?
By the time of the heroine 's childhoo, it is unlikely anyone who is n't a member of Mensa would be unable to remember which teenager descends from which toddler, whose brother was the thrusting entrepreneur and whose the local butche, which girlfriend called Amy is in love ( or not) with which version of Ferguson, and whose aunt lives in California and whose in Brooklyn.
They are the sort of Kantian categories which shape the universe from which alternatives are selected.
These, of course, are as arbitrary as the scenarios that Auster creates within them.