In the Country of Last Things is a novel written by Paul Auster and first published in 1987.
The novel takes the form of letter from a young woman named Anna Blume to a childhood friend or sweetheart. Anna Blume has ventured into a city (unnamed, but possibly New York
) 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 seem to be concerned only with collecting human waste and corpses for fuel. There are various suicide cults like the Runners and Leapers. Anna Blume 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. The 'last things' in the title of the book refers not only to the disappearance of manufactured objects and technology but also the fading of memories of them and the words used to describe them.
- In In the Country of Last Things Paul Auster offers a haunting picture of a devastated world - futuristic world - but one which chillingly shadows our own. – Faber and Faber.
- The book is full of clever notions... Auster tweaks them with great enterprise, springing any number of odd novelties on the reader. – The Independent.
A film adaptation directed by Alejandro Chomski
is in production (as of 2008), shooting in Argentina
, featuring Eva Green
in the role of Anna Blume.