Paul Auster, the celebrated author known for his noir-inflected existentialist novels, has died at 77, NPR reports.

Auster was born and raised in New Jersey and educated at Columbia University, where he participated in student protests against the Vietnam War. He worked in France for four years as a translator before moving back to the U.S. in 1974.

He published several poetry collections before making his fiction debut in 1984 with Squeeze Play, a crime novel written under the pseudonym Paul Benjamin. The following year, he published City of Glass, the first book in his New York Trilogy of postmodern mystery novels.

He would go on to publish more than a dozen other novels, including In the Country of Last Things, Moon Palace, Timbuktu, The Book of Illusions, and 4 3 2 1. His most recent novel, Baumgartner, was published last November; a critic for Kirkus wrote of the book, “An always intriguing writer mostly playing to his strengths.”

His last years were marked by tragedy. In 2022, his son, Daniel Auster, was arrested on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of his infant daughter, Ruby, who had ingested heroin and fentanyl. Daniel Auster died of a drug overdose a little over a week after his arrest.

Paul Auster’s admirers paid tribute to him on social media. On X, formerly known as Twitter, literary critic Christian Lorentzen wrote, “RIP to Paul Auster. 'The New York Trilogy', 'Leviathan', 'In the Country of Last Things': books I loved that delivered young me to different places.”

And Flea, the bassist for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, posted, “Oh man, so sad to hear about Paul Auster passing. Timbuktu is the greatest dog book ever, and I loved the Book Of Illusions with all my heart. Full of gratitude for his contributions, fly on Paul Auster.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.