A dystopian epistolary novel.
In the Country of Last Things takes the form of a letter from a young woman named Anna Blume to a childhood friend. Anna has ventured into an unnamed city that has collapsed into chaos and disorder. In this bleak environment, no industry takes place and most of the population collects garbage or scavenges for objects to resell. City governments are unstable and are concerned only with collecting human waste and corpses for fuel. Anna has entered the city to search for her brother William, a journalist, and it is suggested that the Blumes come from a world to the East which has not collapsed.
Paul Benjamin Auster (born 1947) is an American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction, and the search for identity and personal meaning in works such as The New York Trilogy (1987), Moon Palace (1989), The Music of Chance (1990), The Book of Illusions (2002), and The Brooklyn Follies (2005).
Paul Auster. Wikipedia.
Photo: Paul Auster at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival. Photo author: David Shankbone. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.