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Home Culture The writer Siri Hustvedt says goodbye to her husband, Paul Auster: “I would have liked to announce his death” | Culture

The writer Siri Hustvedt says goodbye to her husband, Paul Auster: “I would have liked to announce his death” | Culture

by News Room
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“I was naive, but I would have liked to have been the person to announce the death of my husband, Paul Auster.” With those words the writer Siri Hustvedt begins her public message on her Instagram social network account to say goodbye to her husband, the novelist, screenwriter and director, author of works such as The New York Trilogyand that he died on April 30, at 6:58 p.m. in New York (12:58 Spanish peninsular time): “He died at home in the room he loved, the bookstore, a room with books on each wall, from floor to ceiling, but also high windows that let in the light.”

Hustvedt (Minnesota, 69 years old) uses her open letter to sharply criticize the way in which the news was published, which was found on the Internet before her husband’s body had left her home in Brooklyn, the neighborhood where she was found. became inseparable: “The obituaries were already posted. “Neither I, nor our daughter, Sophie, nor our son-in-law, Spencer, nor my sisters, whom Paul loved as his own and who accompanied him in his death, had time to come to terms with our loss.” The writer, who in March 2023 announced her husband’s lung cancer with another message on the same social network, assures that they did not have time to call or message their loved ones, before “the screams” began on the internet: “They stole that dignity from us. “I don’t know the full story of how it happened, but I do know one thing: it’s wrong.”

After this message about how information works today, the author of everything I lovedgoes on to open up about the illness of Paul Auster, who died at the age of 77: “He never left Cancerland (cancer country). (…) After the treatments failed, the oncologist offered him chemotherapy, but he refused and asked to be treated at home,” he says about the last days of the writer of The invention of solitude, The country of last things y Brooklyn Follies. “Many patients experience the ravages of cancer treatment, and some are cured, but what the medical world politely calls ‘adverse effects’ quickly become a reality cascade of one crisis after another, caused not by the cancer.” , but for the treatment. (…) An ‘effect’ can be life-threatening (…) and the body becomes weaker and weaker. Paul had enough. But he never showed a symptom of self-pity.”

Siri Hustvedt met Paul Auster in 1981, after a poetry reading, and married him the following year. Before arriving in “cancer country” that she referred to in her messages, the family had gone through turbulent family times. Daniel Auster, son of the novelist and writer Lydia Davis, died in April 2022 from an overdose at the age of 44. Remains of heroin and fentanyl, the powerful opioid used in the United States, were found in his body, and he was on probation, accused of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his 10-month-old baby.

“It has been a year full of emergencies, not so much because of the cancer itself, but because of the treatments. Living with someone who suffers from a lethal disease changes your life,” he already said on a trip to Madrid last March. Hustvedt, awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature in 2019, says goodbye with a message of love for Auster, and for everything that defined her person and her work: “His stoic courage and sense of humor until the end of his life It was an example for me. She said several times that she would love to die telling a joke. I told her that was unlikely, and she laughed.”

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