The Novels of Paul La Farge: Background information when reading Luminous Airplanes

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Luminous Airplanes

A Novel

by Paul LaFarge

Luminous Airplanes
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 256 pages
    Oct 2012, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer G Wilder

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Novels of Paul La Farge

According to an article in Time Out Chicago (August 2011), "Paul La Farge might be the greatest American writer you haven't read, but now there's no excuse." He has been constructing a solid home for himself in American letters since his first published novel in 1999.

Paul La Farge With a flavor of European modernism, The Artist of the Missing (1999) is a story about a young artist searching for his parents in a bewildering urban landscape. It was awarded a California Book Award for the best first novel of 1999. La Farge describes how he wrote his first draft of the story over the course of 21 days, and then revised it for 2 years. It went on to be rejected by 34 publishers before finding a home with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Haunting woodcut illustrations by artist Stephen Alcorn accompany the text.

Haussmann, or the Distinction (2001) also exists within a modernist framework, claiming to be a translation of a 1922 work by a (fictional) French poet "Paul Poissel." The novel itself...

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