Paul Auster (76) has cancer. This was announced by his wife Siri Hustvedt (68) in a long Instagram post. "I haven't been on Instagram in a while. This is because my husband was diagnosed with cancer in December after being ill for several months," the writer wrote alongside a photo of the couple.
Her husband is currently being treated at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Clinic in New York and she now lives in a place she calls "Cancerland". Many people have crossed its boundaries "either because they are or have been ill themselves, or because they love someone, a parent, child, spouse or friend who has or had cancer." Cancer is different for every person who has it. "Some people survive and some die. Everyone knows that, and yet living close to that truth changes everyday reality," explains the author of What I Loved and The Trembling Woman.
"I think it would be terrible to be alone in cancer country," continues Hustvedt. "Living with someone who has cancer and is being bombarded with chemotherapy and immunotherapy is an adventure between closeness and distance." You have to be close enough to almost feel the treatments yourself and far enough away to be of "real help". "Too much empathy can make a person useless! Of course, this tightrope walk is not always easy, but it is the true work of love."
Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster married in 1982. Auster is considered one of the leading authors in American literature. He celebrated his international breakthrough with his New York trilogy, which includes the novels City of Glass (1985), Shadow (1986) and Behind Closed Doors (1987). His works have been translated into over 40 languages. Auster also works as a film director, screenwriter, translator or editor.