Bloodbath Nation: Auster delves into the roots of America’s obsession with guns

The novelist explores why the culture of gun violence is so embedded in the US and he does so with some personal experience – his grandmother shot her husband dead

Armed men at the Washington State Capitol during the March for Our Rights pro-gun rally in Olympia, Washington, April 2018. Picture: Getty

The American novelist Paul Auster views his country’s culture of gun violence through a distinctly personal lens. In 1919, Auster’s grandmother killed her husband. Their marriage had recently broken down and while the writer’s grandfather was visiting his children, his estranged wife shot him with a pistol.

At the time, Auster’s father was six. After tucking him into bed, his mother went downstairs to the kitchen and shot her husband in front of their nine-year-old ...