Paul Auster, known for ‘The New York Trilogy’, has died at the age of 77

Paul Auster, known for ‘The New York Trilogy’, has died at the age of 77

The American author Paul Auster, known for, among others The New York Trilogy, died on Tuesday at the age of 77 from lung cancer. His relatives reported this to American media. With his dark novels he became one of the best-known authors in the United States from the 1980s onwards.

Auster wrote a lot about life in the New York borough of Brooklyn, named after Breukelen. He not only remained famous in his own country, but made a splash worldwide with his postmodern novels. He was considered a literary superstar, especially in France, where he lived at a young age. Auster was nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel in 2017 4321, in which he explores four parallel versions of the protagonist’s early life. His latest book was published last year: Baumgartner.

Rejected by 17 publishers

Paul Auster was born in 1947 into a Jewish family in Newark, just west of New York. While many writers only write their memoirs later in life, Auster’s debut was an autobiography that focused on the difficult relationship with his recently deceased father. His first novel was published in 1985 City of Glass at a small American publisher, after no fewer than seventeen other publishers had rejected the manuscript.

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City of Glassa novel that, like so many of Auster’s works, revolves around dealing with loss, became the first part of his famous The New York Trilogy. The successors Ghosts and The Locked Room both appeared in 1986 and completed the triptych. Nowadays the trilogy is usually published in one collection.

Auster was loved by a wider audience, and was also much studied by literary scholars. The postmodern approach to his novels was accompanied by a simple, easy-to-read writing style. His ominous works are characterized by an unreliable narrator, a frequently shifting narrative and play with the changing identities of the characters. Auster himself said he strives to develop new ways of telling stories.

Writing with the pen

Throughout his career, the writer remained just that: someone who writes, with a pen. He hated computers and only when he had a novel in ink on paper did he complete the manuscript with a typewriter. Several of his books were made into films, the most famous being the film Smoke from 1995, starring Harvey Keitel and William Hurt.

In 2022, Auster’s 44-year-old son died of a drug overdose, less than two weeks after he was charged in the death of his 10-month-old daughter. Paul Auster is survived by his wife, the writer Siri Hustvedt, a daughter and a grandson.