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Paul Auster, Celebrated And Experimental Author, Passes Away At The Age Of 77


Paul Auster, the accomplished and innovative author and filmmaker renowned for his imaginative storytelling, including works like “The New York Trilogy” and “4 3 2 1,” has passed away at the age of 77.

His literary representatives, the Carol Mann Agency, confirmed Auster’s demise on Wednesday, though details surrounding his death were not immediately provided. Auster had been battling cancer since 2022.

Throughout the 1970s onwards, Auster crafted over 30 books, translated into numerous languages. While not achieving significant commercial success in the U.S., he garnered international acclaim for his cosmopolitan outlook and profound, introspective writing style. Recognized as a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1991, Auster was also a Booker Prize finalist and an esteemed member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Often hailed as the “dean of American post-modernists” and celebrated for his metafictional prowess, Auster seamlessly intertwined history, politics, genre experimentation, and self-referential nods to literature. His acclaimed “The New York Trilogy” blurred lines between reality and fiction, featuring a protagonist named Paul Auster, while works like “Travels in the Scriptorium” delved into layered narratives within narratives.

Auster’s magnum opus, “4 3 2 1,” published in 2017 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, delved into the multilayered experiences of Archibald Isaac Ferguson across post-World War II landscapes, spanning from summer camps to student life amidst the socio-political turbulence of the late 1960s.

Beyond his fiction, Auster penned nonfiction compilations like “Groundwork” and “Talking to Strangers,” a poignant family memoir titled “The Invention of Solitude,” and a biographical exploration of novelist Stephen Crane. His cinematic endeavors included collaborations with director Wayne Wang on the acclaimed film “Smoke” and its sequel “Blue in the Face,” as well as directorial efforts like “Lulu on the Bridge” and “The Inner Life of Martin Frost.”

In his personal life, Auster married fellow author Siri Hustvedt in 1982, with whom he shared a daughter, Sophie, who appeared in one of his films. He also had a son, Daniel, from a previous marriage to author-translator Lydia Davis. Tragically, Daniel Auster passed away in 2022, grappling with drug addiction and legal troubles.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Paul Benjamin Auster’s upbringing in a middle-class Jewish household influenced his outsider perspective and literary pursuits, shaped by his parents’ contrasting financial attitudes. Despite initial challenges, including various odd jobs, Auster remained steadfast in his commitment to literature, leaving behind a profound legacy cherished by readers worldwide.

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