Paul Austers latest collection of poetry, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is the work of a young man whose ideas about his place in the world, and his place within the world at large, have been shaped by the experiences of his life.
His first major novel, The Fountainhead, won the Newbery Medal for poetry and his most recent, My Name is Earl, won a Bafta for best novel.
It is a remarkable achievement, but the writer, who grew up in South Africa, was not a typical teenager growing up in the 1980s, the years when the ANC was in power.
He was a black man, raised in an English-speaking country in the 1970s, a life that had been shaped and shaped by a life in the north of England, the place where the South African apartheid government was established in 1948.
That, and the fact that he was raised in a very British-style house with English furniture, helped to shape his ideas about the world in which he lived.
“A portrait of the artist as a young person is an important thing,” Austers said.
“The idea that an artist is a young adult is very important for me.”
When Austers first arrived in South African history, in 1965, he had already left his native country to study in England.
In 1967, at the height of the anti-apartheid protests in Cape Town, he met a young African-American writer, John Updike, at a pub in the British capital.
The two started writing together, and Austers began to explore his ideas in his first collection, The Man Who Would Be King.
After Updikes death, Austers went back to England, where he stayed for a while, writing short stories and novels.
Then he returned to Cape Town to work on the novel, a story about the assassination of Nelson Mandela, a man he had seen on TV.
He wrote about the murder and his experiences of living through it and published it in the US in 1971.
The next year, he was invited to the British literary awards and nominated for a Bailliest for the first time.
But the pressure to succeed was intense, Auster said, and he decided not to continue writing.
“It’s not just me; I think it’s the whole industry that’s afraid of writing poetry,” he said.
When Auster’s first novel, I, was published in 1972, it was a very different book.
He had written a short story called The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, about a man who has a difficult life.
It won a prize for best non-fiction, and was published under the title The Painted Woman, the title of a painting that had become a symbol of apartheid, a symbol that Austers and other African-Americans had always felt was inextricably linked to the apartheid regime.
“I thought that was really important because I wanted to show that I had an interest in history, and that I was a human being,” he told the BBC.
He returned to South Africa after the publication of I to write the second novel, the novel The King of New York, which was published as The King’s Body in 1974.
Austers novel is now widely read in South Africans and his stories, while not necessarily the most popular of his work, are still popular in their countries of origin.
Auster and Updiles books are now widely recognised as some of the best written South African works of poetry and prose, and they have become part of the fabric of literary and artistic life.
The writer is now 60 years old, but has continued to write and to tell stories and write books, including a new collection of his essays and a book of short stories.
He lives in London with his wife, Helen, and their son, Daniel.
His son Daniel is studying to be a writer.
The man who would be king “The King of South Africa” was published at the end of 2016, and has sold over a million copies.
The book won the Baillest in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Austing is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal College of Arts, and is also the editor of the British Academy of Literature.
He is a frequent speaker at literary and cultural events in the UK, the US, Australia and elsewhere, and this year he was awarded the British Library’s prestigious British Library Prize for his work.
His new collection, A Long Night, is published by Random House, and will be published by Hachette in the autumn.
What is it about Austers work that makes him so distinctive?
He is not a poet, he says.
“Poetry is a very difficult subject to write about, because it is so often about a relationship, and it’s a very powerful one, and I don’t think that is always a very good way