Farewell to the writer Paul Auster, the 'singer' of New York was 77 years old


By John

Paul Auster, the multifaceted American writer and director who was one of the great singers of New York along with Woody Allen and Lou Reed, has died at the age of 77. His trilogy on the Big Apple, 'City of Glass' in 1985, 'Spectres' in 1986 and 'The Locked Room' in 1987, told the story of the metropolis through the parody of a 'detective story' and was immediately acclaimed by critics. Translated into over 40 languages, his most important works also include 'Moon Palace' from 1989, 'The Music of Chance' from 1990, 'The Book of Illusions' from 2002 and 'Brooklyn Follies' from 2005.

Auster passed away at his home in Brooklyn due to complications from lung cancer. Protagonist of American postmodernist literature together with his friends Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, he was able to describe the loneliness, anguish and neurosis of today's man, in search of identity and the meaning of his existence.

After studying at Columbia University, in 1970 Auster went to Paris where he worked as a translator until returning to New York in 1974. His literary debut was the poems and short stories published in the 'New York Review of Books' and in 'Harper's Saturday' Review'. Then came the novels, 'The Land of the Last Things' (1988), 'The Palace of the Moon' (1989), 'The Music of Chance' (1991, from which Philip Haas made a film in 1993), 'Leviathan' ( 1992), 'Mr. Vertigo' (1994) and 'Timbuktu' (1998).
In cinema he was the director and screenwriter of the films 'Smoke', directed together with Wayne Wang, and 'Blue in the Face'. In 1998 he directed 'Lulu on the Bridge', starring Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel.
His latest novel, 'Baumgartner', was released in 2023 to coincide with the announcement of his illness. In Italy his works have been published by Einaudi.