Paul La Farge, the author who won critical acclaim for novels including Haussmann, or the Distinction and The Night Ocean, has died of cancer at 52, the New York Times reports.

La Farge, a native of New York City, was educated at Yale University, and taught writing at Bard College, Columbia University, and Bennington College.

He published his debut novel, The Artist of the Missing, in 1999, and followed that up in 2001 with Haussmann, or the Distinction, a historical novel about the French civil servant Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who led a public works program that rebuilt much of Paris.

His other novels included The Facts of Winter and Luminous Airplanes. His most recent book, The Night Ocean, was published in 2017; a critic for Kirkus gave it a starred review, calling it “an effortlessly memorable novel.”

Admirers of La Farge paid tribute to him on social media. On Twitter, author Gary Shteyngart wrote, “Paul La Farge, one of my dearest friends, really more like a brother, has passed away. For those who have yet to read his books, perhaps start with The Night Ocean. He was as generous and witty with his prose as he was with his friends. Those who knew him truly loved him.”

And actor and musician Josh Radnor tweeted, “Paul was an incredible writer and just the loveliest guy. Sending love to his wife Sarah and all those who knew and loved him.”

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.