City of Glass by Paul Auster explores a range of themes which you can read about in the following pages.
Here, you can read an extract from our study guide:
Another interpretation of the novel City of Glass could be that the events happen only in Quinn’s imagination. There are several hints that support this theory. For example, there are plenty of moments when Quinn seems to lose time and when he has difficulty remembering what actually happened. When he first walks into the apartment on 69th Street, “he could feel himself going blank, as if his brain had suddenly shut off” (Chapter 2, 20%).
As time passes, the events seem to become more and more confusing and hard to explain. For example, when Quinn retreats to the now empty apartment on 69th Street, Quinn keeps finding a tray of food every time he wakes up. However, no one knows he is there, so there would be no one to give him food. Quinn also finds out that it is getting dark earlier each day, and that, at one point, he barely has time to write a few sentences before it gets dark again (Chapter 13, 67%).