• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Paul Auster, ‘The New York Trilogy’ Author, Dead at 77

Paul Auster, ‘The New York Trilogy’ Author, Dead at 77

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017

Photo: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

Paul Auster, known for The New York Trilogy — originally published as three separate novels: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room — died on Tuesday, April 30 from lung-cancer complications. He was 77. The news was confirmed by his friend and fellow author Jacki Lyden to the New York Times. Born and raised in New Jersey, Auster eventually became a prominent figure in the Brooklyn literary scene (though he was also quite popular in France). Auster graduated from Columbia University with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in comparative literature. He later lived in Paris, translating French literature for several years before returning to the United States. His decades-long career included a stream of novels, memoirs, story collections, plays, essays, and poems. He also wrote several screenplays, winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for Wayne Wang’s 1995 film Smoke. His 2017 novel 4321 was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Auster’s work has been noted to include instances of chance and coincidence, which could be explained by his real-life experiences. When he was a teenager at a summer camp, he stood next to a boy who was killed by a bolt of lightning. Per NPR, he once reflected, “I think maybe that informs my work more than any book I have ever read.”

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