Spanning three generations, and illuminated by marvelous flights of lyricism and wit, Moon Palace follows an orphan child of the sixties as he seeks the key to his past and the answers to the riddle of his fate.
The moon as a poetic and planetary influence over earthly affairs runs as a theme, wittily ransacked, throughout this elegant fiction by award-winning novelist and poet Auster. Marco Fogg is a loner and a dreamer, whose ``mind is on the moon,'' and who in a state of elation unfolds moonlore to his friends. The year of the moon landing finds Fogg living in spartan reclusivity until forced from his New York apartment to roam as a Central Park vagrant. His rescue by Kitty Wu, a gentle Chinese girl, leads to their poignant and tenuous love. Like some of Auster's earlier protagonists, Fogg senses he has a kindred, submerged or vanished other self. Here, it is Fogg's father, who went into eclipse before his birth; the quest for the parent forms a narrative thread. When Fogg serves as reader/companion to the elderly cripple Barber, aka ``Effing,'' who recounts his adventures in a Western wilderness where he buried a cache of paintings, Fogg's fate takes an unexpected turn.