Acclaimed American Author Paul Auster Dies at 77

Renowned American author Paul Auster, known for his inventive narratives, has passed away at 77 due to lung cancer complications, leaving behind a legacy that influenced writers worldwide.

Bijay Laxmi
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Acclaimed American Author Paul Auster Dies at 77

Acclaimed American Author Paul Auster Dies at 77

Paul Auster, the prolific and award-winning American author known for his inventive narratives like "The New York Trilogy" and "4 3 2 1," died on Tuesday evening at his home in Brooklyn, New York. He was 77 years old. The cause was complications from lung cancer, according to his wife, author Siri Hustvedt.

Auster was a leading figure in the postmodern American literary tradition, addressing existential questions of identity, language, and literature in his more than 20 novels. His breakthrough work was the 1985 novel "City of Glass," part of "The New York Trilogy," which subverted the detective genre. He later published the ambitious 800-page novel "4 3 2 1" in 2017, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Born in 1947 in Newark, New Jersey, Auster moved to Paris in his 20s, where he supported himself by translating French literature before returning to the U.S. in 1974. He was praised for the purity of his language and the seriousness of his literary intent, drawing influences from writers like Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett. Auster's work often blended history, politics, genre experiments, and self-conscious references to writers and writing.

Why this matters: Paul Auster was a towering figure in contemporary American literature, whose innovative and philosophical works influenced writers around the world. His passing marks the loss of one of the most distinctive voices in postmodern fiction.

Auster had an active film career as well, collaborating with directors like Wayne Wang on acclaimed films such as "Smoke" and "Blue in the Face." He was married to fellow author Siri Hustvedt. Their son, Daniel, struggled with drug addiction and died in 2022, a tragedy that Auster wrote about in his final novel "Baumgartner," published in October 2022.

The literary world mourned Auster's passing. The Booker Prizes organization expressed sadness over his death, noting that his work had "touched readers and influenced writers all over the world." Auster is survived by his wife, daughter Sophie, sister Janet, and a grandson.

Key Takeaways

  • Acclaimed American author Paul Auster died at 77 from lung cancer complications.
  • Auster was a leading figure in postmodern American literature, known for innovative works.
  • His breakthrough novel was "City of Glass," part of "The New York Trilogy".
  • Auster had an active film career and was married to author Siri Hustvedt.
  • The literary world mourned Auster's passing, recognizing his global influence on writers.