‘America has lost a noble soul: author Paul Auster dies at 77
The Guardian|May 02, 2024
Paul Auster, the author of 34 books including The New York Trilogy, has died aged 77.
Ella Creamer
‘America has lost a noble soul: author Paul Auster dies at 77

The author died yesterday from complications linked to lung cancer, his friend and fellow author Jacki Lyden confirmed to the Guardian.

Auster became known for his "highly stylised, quirkily riddlesome postmodernist fiction in which narrators are rarely other than unreliable and the bedrock of plot is continually shifting", the novelist Joyce Carol Oates wrote in 2010.

His stories often play with themes of coincidence, chance and fate. Many of his protagonists are writers, and his body of work is self-referential, with characters from early novels appearing again in later ones.

"Auster has established one of the most distinctive niches in contemporary literature," the critic Michael Dirda wrote in 2008. "His narrative voice is as hypnotic as that of the Ancient Mariner. Start one of his books and by page two you cannot choose but hear."

The author was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1947. He said his writing life began at the age of eight when he missed out on an autograph from his baseball hero, Willie Mays, because neither he nor his parents had taken a pencil to the game. From then on, he took a pencil everywhere.

"If there's a pencil in your pocket, there's a good chance that one day you'll feel tempted to start using it," he wrote in 1995.

This story is from the May 02, 2024 edition of The Guardian.

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This story is from the May 02, 2024 edition of The Guardian.

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