Paul La Farge: Some Little-Known Facts



April 15, 2017

Time for another Night Ocean roundup: Hayden Bennett wrote a thoughtful and generous review of TNO in BOMB; Sharon Browning wrote a very nice review in LitStack; and Drew Rowsome gives TNO some love in My Gay Toronto.

Also, I talked to Sam Hankin at The Avid Reader; to Brian Held at The Week in Geek, to Molly O’Brien at GoLocal Providence (video of the awkward author!); and to Tom DiPietro at WGXC, my wonderful local radio station.

March 31, 2017 (bis)

Film people / NYC people: I'll be presenting Roger Corman’s 1963 film The Haunted Palace at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 11th, at 7pm. It’s a lurid, low-budget adaptation of a Lovecraft story, starring Vincent Prince and featuring Lon Chaney Jr. Please come if that sounds like your kind of thing. More information here.

March 31, 2017

A few more late-breaking Night Ocean items:

The Boston Globe calls The Night Ocean “A fascinating, labyrinthine story… a reminder that in spite of our best efforts, sometimes the truth really is beyond our comprehension.”

Cosmopolitan lists the book as one of the best reads of the spring.

And at the The New Yorker’s Culture Desk, Sarah Larson writes, “I’ve always been too timid to read H. P. Lovecraft novels and to experience the eldritch wonders within, but I’m greatly enjoying Paul La Farge’s new novel, The Night Ocean, on Lovecraftian themes. Like Murakami, La Farge keeps a foot in the familiar while leading you on his eerie adventures.”

March 28, 2017

You’ll be shocked, shocked, to hear that there is more news about The Night Ocean.

Writing for, Matthew Keeley says, “La Farge may have written the first great novel of fandom.” Which is a lovely thing.

In Public Books, Aviva Briefel writes that The Night Ocean is “enthralling,” and that it “requires us to exercise our critical readership as we face the current political administration, which may be the most Lovecraftian of them all.” Maybe so. And yikes.

The Harvard Crimson says, “For those who love historical fiction or science fiction, this is a good read.” And BiblioSanctum writes, “There’s a lot of pain and heartbreak within these pages, but also a surprising amount of tenderness and beauty that I had not expected to find in a book featuring Lovecraft as a key figure.”

Also, New York Magazine included The Night Ocean in its approval matrix:

The Approval Matrix

Highbrow and brilliant—but close to despicable. In other words, just where it ought to be.

March 13, 2017

News about The Night Ocean continues to roll in, like an unusually exciting fog:

In The Chicago Review of Books, Amy Brady writes that I have brought H.P. Lovecraft back from the dead. For better or worse, I guess.

In The Culture Trip, JW McCormack writes that the book’s “progression is not measured by plot twists, but by the kind of feeling from which escapist science-fiction is supposed to deliver us.”

In Bookshelf, Andrew Hood writes that “The Night Ocean seems especially relevant in a time when the extreme sides of the political spectrum are making monsters out of their opposites.”

And I had a conversation with the Barnes & Noble Review’s Bill Tipper, who says Tne Night Ocean is “bewitching.”

March 8, 2017

People of (W)NYC: I'm going to be on the Leonard Lopate Show today at 1:20pm, flogging my book THE NIGHT OCEAN, or having it flogged, or, in any case, something. Tune in, or listen online here.

March 7, 2017

The Night Ocean is out today. And in this Sunday’s New York Times, D.T. Max reviews it. Here’s what he says: “A beauty of a tale...A book full of pleasures... The Night Ocean emerges as an inexhaustible shaggy monster, part literary parody, part case study of the slipperiness of narrative and the seduction of a good story.” Read the whole review here.

March 6, 2017

The Night Ocean comes out tomorrow. Today, it’s one of the New York Post’s must-read books of the week, and one of Newsweek’s best books of the week. (Which raises the question of how many books a person can read in a week, but never mind.) BookPage also has some nice things to say.

March 3, 2017

Now for a flurry of good news: The Night Ocean was named one of the best books of March, 2017 by Amazon, the BBC, Vulture, and The Chicago Review of Books. Also, The Washington Post likes it. And so does Chronogram.

There’s also an article in Publishers’ Weekly about the book’s mind-boggling cover design, which I had nothing to do with, so I can like it as much as I want. And in fact I like it so much that I’m posting it again:

The Night Ocean 3D cover

February 24, 2017

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has good things to say about The Night Ocean, and they should know what they’re talking about.

February 1, 2017

From the department of being in good company (how many departments are there in this place, anyway?): The Night Ocean is one of The Week’s 28 Books to read in 2017, along with works by George Saunders, Elif Batuman, Ottessa Moshfegh, Joan Didion, and others.

January 24, 2017

I’m very happy to have an interview with China Miéville in this month’s issue of BOMB. I’ve been a fan of Miéville’s novels for years, and, in case it wasn’t clear already from his work—but it was!—he’s very smart. Topics discussed: “blood smoke,” Surrealism, tie-in novels, Cthulhu, Dungeons & Dragons, trauma. And more.

January 17, 2017

People of Earth! I am very excited to be talking about The Night Ocean with Lev Grossman (author of Codex, Warp, and the amazing Magicians trilogy) at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center, on Thursday, March 9, 2017. The event is at 7pm, and it's free but ticketed. More information is available here.

December 22, 2016

At the behest of the kind people who run the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature, in Germany, where I’ve been teaching this fall, I wrote a story for Twitter. It’s called Hum, and it was tweeted from the @picadorprof account on December 21 and 22. I am reposting it here for those of you who missed the story entirely, or who caught a glimpse of it as it scrolled by, and want to read the whole thing.

For older posts, look here.



Photo: Carol Shadford

Paul La Farge is the author of four novels: The Night Ocean (The Penguin Press, 2017); The Artist of the Missing (FSG, 1999), Haussmann, or the Distinction (FSG, 2001), and Luminous Airplanes (FSG, 2011); and a book of imaginary dreams, The Facts of Winter (McSweeney's Books, 2005). He is the grateful recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize, and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2013-14. He lives in a subterranean ‘annex’ in upstate New York, where he is almost certainly up to no good.




Potentially Endless




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© 2016 Paul Poissel