The writer Siri Hustvedt announces that her husband, Paul Auster, has cancer | Culture | The USA Print

The American writer Siri Hustvedt has announced this Saturday on the social network Instagram that her husband, the novelist Paul Auster, 76, has cancer. “My husband was diagnosed with cancer in December after being ill for several months prior,” she explained.

Auster, according to the information released, is being treated for his illness at the Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. “I have been living in a place that I called Cancerland”, continues the writer, “many people have crossed its borders, either because they are or have been sick or because they love someone, a parent, child, spouse or friend who has or has had cancer. Cancer is different for each person who has it. All human bodies are the same and no two are the same. Some people survive and others die. Everyone knows this, and yet living close to that truth changes everyday reality.”

Hustvedt reflects on how hard it would be to go through such an experience alone (“being alone in Cancerland”), and also refers to the harshness of the chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments that Auster is receiving, which he describes as a bombardment, and as a “adventure” in which closeness and separation are contrasted. “One has to be close enough to feel the debilitating treatments almost as one’s own and far enough away to be genuine help. Too much empathy can render a person useless! It is not always easy to walk this tightrope, of course, but it is the true labor of love,” she writes. In the photo that accompanies the textHustvedt kisses her husband on the temple.

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The family had been through other recent tragedies. In April 2022, the couple’s son, Daniel Auster, died of an overdose at the age of 44. Remains of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful opioid that wreaks havoc in the United States, were found in his body. He was on probation, charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of his 10-month-old baby. The deceased also had a record for robbery and drug possession and had been linked to the murder of a trafficker in the last years of the 20th century.

Paul Auster is one of the most successful American novelists of recent decades, author of works such as The invention of loneliness, The New York Trilogy, In the country of last Things either Brooklyn Follies, precisely starring a patient with lung cancer. In 2006 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters, a distinction that his wife also achieved in 2019.

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