Paul La Farge
Paul La Farge - Picador Guest Professor in the winter semester of 2016/17
Paul La Farge was born in 1970 in New York City and studied at Yale University. He taught creative writing on and off since 2002 at Wesleyan University, Colombia University and Bennington College. He was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2013-14. His short stories and non-fiction pieces have been widely published in journals, including McSweeney’s, Harper’s Magazine, Fence, Conjunctions, The Believer, Playboy and Cabinet. He was the author of the novels “The Artist of the Missing” (1999) and “Haussmann, or the Distinction” (2001), for which he received the annual Bard Fiction Prize. His third and fourth novels were published in 2005 (“The Facts of Winter”) and 2011 (“Luminous Airplanes”). Paul La Farge came from New York City to Leipzig in the winter semester 2016/2017 to teach the seminars “Truth and Consequences: The Uses of Persona” and “Approaches to the Short Story: A Fiction Workshop” at the Institute for American Studies at the Unitversity. In addition to his seminars “Truth and Consequences: The Uses of Persona” and “Approaches to the Short Story: A Fiction Workshop”, he also taught a Picador at School workshop at the Anton-Philipp-Reclam School in Leipzig. During his time as the Picador Guest Professor, he presented his novel “The Night Ocean” at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig and the English Theatre Berlin. Paul La Farge passed away on January 18, 2023. We feel fortunate to have been able to meet and learn from this outstanding writer, educator, and true mensch.
During Paul La Farge’s guest professorship, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. In a moving essay for DIE ZEIT, the author described his impressions and thoughts on the election. The article gives courage and hope to stay strong in times of crisis. To conclude with Paul’s words: “We are in history, and we are the one who make it happen.”
This is one of the best works of fiction to come my way in a long time. Luminous Airplanes is a quiet triumph of a book.
Gary Shteyngart, Author of Super Sad True Love Story