Daniel Auster, son of the acclaimed US novelist Paul Auster, has died at the age of 44 from a drug overdose, according to various news outlets such as the New York Post and The Independent. The death took place while he was out on bail, after being arrested on April 17 and charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of his 10-month-old baby. The autopsy performed on the little girl showed that she had died from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl, a strong opioid similar to morphine.
Police sources told the New York Post that Daniel Auster is believed to have died of an accidental overdose. The eldest son of the novelist Paul Auster and the writer Lydia Davis was facing charges of manslaughter. His 10-month-old child Ruby Auster died on November 1. That afternoon, the emergency services received a call from Auster’s residence in Brooklyn and when they arrived at the scene they found the child unconscious and unresponsive. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy found the cause of death to be “acute intoxication” by drugs.
On April 17, the day of Auster’s arrest, the New York Post reported that the child had ingested enough heroin and fentanyl to “render an adult unconscious,” according to a Brooklyn prosecutor. According to the version of events offered by her father, on the afternoon of November 1 he woke up and found his baby daughter‘s “lips blue and eyes stiff.” He said that he tried to save her by giving her Narcan, a prescription medicine used to treat opioid overdose.
His father Paul Auster is the author of The New York Trilogy, Moon Palace and Sunset Park among other acclaimed works. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Prince of Asturias and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.