So begins The Invention of Solitude, Paul Auster's moving and personal meditation on fatherhood. The first section, 'Portrait of an Invisible Man', reveals Auster's memories and feelings after the death of his father, a distant, undemonstrative, almost cold man. As he attends to his father's business affairs and sifts through his effects, Auster uncovers a sixty-year-old family murder mystery that sheds light on his father's elusive character.
In 'The Book of Memory', the perspective shifts from Auster's identity as son to his role as father. Through a mosaic of images, coincidences, and associations, the narrator, 'A', contemplates his separation from his son, his dying grandfather, and the solitary nature of storytelling and writing.