Paul Auster, author of New York Trilogy and 4 3 2 1, dies aged 77

The US writer Paul Auster, known for acclaimed novels such as 4 3 2 1 and The New York Trilogy, has died at the age of 77.

Auster's death was confirmed on Wednesday by his representatives, the Carol Mann Agency, which has not given further details, though he was diagnosed with cancer in 2022.

An author of more than 30 books, his work was translated into dozens of languages and admired overseas - so much so that he was named a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1991.

He was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize and voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

"We are very sad to hear of the death of Booker Prize shortlistee Paul Auster, whose work touched readers and influenced writers all over the world, and whose generosity was felt in just as many quarters," The Booker Prizes posted on X.

Auster was born in Newark, New Jersey, to a middle-class Jewish family in 1947 and wrote in a brief memoir that his only ambition from the age of 16 had been to write.

His dreams would be well tested after graduating from Columbia University, when Auster struggled for years before he was able to find a publisher or earn money from his books.

He wrote poetry, translated French literature, worked on an oil tanker, tried to market a baseball board game and even thought of earning income by growing worms in his basement.

His career would also expand into film, directing Lulu on the Bridge in 1998 and The Inner Life of Martin Frost in 2007.

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He said in 2011 he liked to write by hand in notebooks and then produce the finished copy on a typewriter, rather than a computer.

"I feel more alive when I'm working," he added. "I am convinced that writing is a kind of illness.

"Who would want to spend his life sitting in a room, putting words on paper? It's a strange occupation. You got to have a great taste for solitude."

He married fellow author Siri Hustvedt in 1982 and had a daughter, Sophie. He also had a son, Daniel, from an earlier marriage to the author-translator Lydia Davis.