What is a summary of Paul Auster's In the Country of Last Things?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The Country of Last Things by Paul Auster is a postmodernist postapocalyptic novel about a city in which nothing new is made, and society is slowly collapsing. Into this setting comes Anna Blume, an outsider, seeking her brother William. The story is written as a letter home to the "normal" world from Anna. To survive in this environment, Anna becomes an "object hunter" or scavenger, who seeks artifacts from the past that can be traded or sold.

In her explorations of the city, she saves the life of Isabel, a frail, elderly woman, and moves in with Isabel and her husband Ferdinand, caring for them until they die. Next, Anna meets and falls in love with Samuel Farr, a journalist like her brother William. They move in together and she becomes pregnant with his child, but miscarries. They are briefly separated, but reunited at Woburn House, a rescue mission, and finally make plans to escape the city together. 


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