Paul B. La Farge (1970–2023) was an American writer, essayist, and scholar. Over the course of two decades, he published five novels: The Artist of the Missing (1999), Hausmann or the Brilliant (2001), The Truth of Winter (2005), Luminous Airplane” (2011) and “Night Sea” (2017). All, especially Housman, deserve positive critical attention. His essays, fiction, and reviews have been published by publishers such as The Village Voice, Harper’s, and The New Yorker.
La Farge is a native of New York City and a graduate of Yale University. He holds residency at Yaddo (1999) and MacDowell (2002), as well as at the Guggenheim Fellowship (2002) and the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (2012). He is the recipient of two California Book Awards and the Bard Award for Fiction (2005), given annually by Bard College, where he is an MFA faculty member. From 2009 to 2010, he was a visiting professor of English at Wesleyan University. He also teaches writing at Columbia University. From 2013 to 2014, he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. From 2016 to 2017, LaFarge served as Picardo Visiting Professor of Literature at the American Institute of the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. In 2019, he completed his residency at the American Academy in Berlin.  He taught at Bennington College from July 2020 until his death from cancer in January 2023.
La Farge’s first novel, The Artist of the Missing, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in May 1999 and features surreal imagery by Cubist artist Stephen Alcorn. The novel takes place in an anonymous modern city where people are constantly missing. The main character, Frank, paints portraits of the missing, including his parents, his brother James, and eventually even his lover, the mysterious police photographer Prudence, whose job it is to take pictures of dead bodies. Critics compared the debut novel to the works of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges, and categorized it as a “literary magician” and a “fantasist.” .