Paul Auster Biography

(American Writer and Film Director Known for His Work ‘The New York Trilogy’ and ‘The Music of Chance’)

Birthday: February 3, 1947 (Aquarius)

Born In: Newark, New Jersey, United States

Paul Auster was an internationally acclaimed author, who was well-known for his distinct themes such as that contain elements of absurdism, identity crisis and existentialism. Some of his highly praised pieces of work include ‘The New York Trilogy’, ‘Moon Palace’, ‘The Music of Chance’, ‘The Book of Illusions’ and ‘The Brooklyn Follies’. He established himself as one of the most distinct and original writers in contemporary literature and his works have been translated in over thirty languages around the world. He was also a successful editor, poet, screenplay writer and had translated the works of many acclaimed French authors. He also authored touching personal memoirs and autobiographies like his debut publication ‘The Invention of Solitude’, ‘Winter Journal’ and the most recent publication ‘Report From The Interior’. Apart from authoring novels and poems, he also wrote lyrics for many songs including ‘Natty Man Blues’. He also directed award winning motion pictures and with all of these accomplishments, he was hailed as one of the most successful and multi-talented individuals in the field of writing.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Paul Benjamin Auster

Died At Age: 77


Spouse/Ex-: Siri Hustvedt (m. 1982), Lydia Davis (m. 1974Р 1979)

father: Samuel Auster

mother: Queenie Bogat Auster

children: Daniel Auster, Sophie Auster

Born Country: United States

Quotes By Paul Auster Novelists

Died on: April 30, 2024

place of death: New York City

Notable Alumni: Columbia College (New York)

U.S. State: New Jersey

City: Newark, New Jersey

More Facts

education: Columbia College (New York)

Childhood & Early Life
Paul Benjamin Auster was born in Newark, New Jersey into a middle class Jewish family to Queenie and Samuel Auster.
He was raised in the suburban municipality of South Orange, New Jersey and Newark and attended the Columbia High School in Maplewood.
In 1970, he graduated from the Columbia University, after which he moved to Paris where he worked as a translator of French literature.
In 1974, he came back to the U.S and started writing essays, poems and novels and also translated the works of many prominent French writers.
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In 1982, his book titled, ‘Squeeze Play’, one of his works which he wrote under the pseudonym, Paul Benjamin, was released.
In 1987, his series of three mystery novels ‘The New York Trilogy’ was published by the Faber & Faber publishing house. The same year his novel ‘In the Country of Last Things’ was also published.
In 1989, ‘Moon Palace’, a novel, set in Manhattan, New York was published. Published in 1990, by the Viking Press, his mystery novel titled ‘The Music of Chance’ falls under the genre of ‘absurdist novels’ that focuses on ‘random event’ and ‘meaninglessness of the universe’.
In 1992, his crime novel ‘Leviathan’ was published by the Viking Press. The novel was later made into an audio book, released on ‘’. The next year, he wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel ‘The Music of Chance’. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
In 1995, he wrote the screenplay for the award winning American film ‘Smoke’, which he also directed along with Wayne Wang. That year he also directed and wrote screenplay for the film ‘Blue in the Face’.
In 2002, ‘The Book of Illusions’, his novel, based on the life of a university professor was published by the Henry Holt publishing house. That year ‘The Story of My Typewriter’ was also published.
In 2005, Henry Holt and Co. published his novel ‘The Brooklyn Follies’. In 2008, ‘Man in the Dark’, his novel, centred on the presidential elections of 2000 was published.
In 2009, ‘Invisible’, his collection of four short stories, all interconnected to form a continuous story was published.
In 2010, ‘Sunset Park’, his novel, set around the American financial recession was published by the Henry Holt and Co.
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In 2013, a collection of letters that were exchanged between him and South African novelist J. M. Coetzee titled ‘Here and Now: Letters (2008–2011)’ was published by the Viking Press.
Major Works

Published in 1987, his novel ‘The New York Trilogy’ became a great success and was the recipient of the Prix France Culture de Litterature Etrangere award.

He directed and wrote the screenplay for the film ‘Smoke’, which received the Silver Bear at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival, received Danish Film Critics Bodil Award for Best American Film and also earned the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

Awards & Achievements

In 1990, he received the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1996, he received the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence.

In 2003, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 2006, he was the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.

In 2006, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for Literature.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1974, he married his first wife Lydia Davis but the marriage did not last long and the couple separated. They had a child together.

In 1981, he married Siri Hustvedt and the couple had a child together.

In 2013, one of his autobiographical works ‘Report From The Interior’ was published.

Paul Auster passed away on April 30, 2024, at the age of 77, at his home on Brooklyn. He had lung cancer. 


Paul Auster was so obsessive about hygiene that he carried his own set of cutlery with him, wherever he travelled.

See the events in life of Paul Auster in Chronological Order

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