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Luminous Airplanes (eBook)
A decade after the publication of Haussmann, or the Distinction, his acclaimed novel about nineteenth-century Paris, Paul La Farge turns his imagination to America at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
In September 2000, a young programmer comes home from a festival in the Nevada desert and learns that his grandfather has died, and that he has to return to Thebes, a town which is so isolated that its inhabitants have their own language, in order to clean out the house where his family lived for five generations. While he’s there, he runs into Yesim, a Turkish American woman whom he loved as a child, and begins a romance in which past and present are dangerously confused. At the same time, he remembers San Francisco in the wild years of the Internet boom, and mourns the loss of Swan, a madman who may have been the only person to understand what was happening to the city, and to the world.
Luminous Airplanes has a singular form: the novel, complete in itself, is accompanied by an online “immersive text,” which continues the story and complements it. Nearly ten years in the making, La Farge’s ambitious new work considers large worlds and small ones, love, memory, family, flying machines, dance music, and the end of the world.
About the Author
Paul La Farge is the author of two novels: The Artist of the Missing (FSG, 1999) and Haussmann, or the Distinction (FSG, 2001); and a book of imaginary dreams, The Facts of Winter. His short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Harper’s Magazine, Fence, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. His nonfiction appears in The Believer, Bookforum, Playboy, and Cabinet. He lives in upstate New York.
Praise for Luminous Airplanes…
“A perfect figure eight of a book…Luminous Airplanes is brilliant, poignant, startling, hilarious….I loved it.”---Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! “Captivating…A wry, provocative, and often hilarious coming-of-age tale.”---The Boston Globe “A strange and salutary shock…Luminous Airplanes isn’t about disconnection and meaninglessness. It is about connection and significance…the ramifying, mysterious ways we human beings affect each other, from parent to child, invention to invention, generation to generation.”---The New York Times Book Review “La Farge tells his tale of homecoming compassionately but without sentimentality….Rather than submitting to the darkness of the sleeping bag that is modern fiction, La Farge encourages his readers to search the sky for the signs that herald the return of loved ones we’ve lost.”---Time Out (New York) “Beautiful…Calls to mind Haruki Murakami…A high-concept novel worth reading.”---The Economist