In my thesis I examine how chance, fate and coincidence are incorporated and used deliberately in three of Paul Auster s novels: Moon Palace (1989), The Music of Chance (1990) and Leviathan (1992). I place Auster s use of coincidence in a historical context, and my main claim is that he uses coincidence to make a metaphysical statement, rather than merely as a literary device to make the story add up in the end. Also, I attempt to show how Auster s fictional characters are desperate searchers for meaning. As the world has gradually been deprived of grand narratives like for instance religion and political ideologies, the void has to be filled with something else. Here, Auster s characters tend to read meaning into chance events, and to make coincidence an explanatory model which can replace grand narratives. Time and again, the characters come out as self-deceptive, and they fail in their search. I argue that this corresponds to the point that Auster is making: That chance is an integral part of reality, and that it is impossible to read meaning into it. Important aspects that are dealt with throughout the thesis are the existentialist question of freedom, genealogy as a potential determining force, the active role of the city and the notion of a small-world and the interconnectedness within it.