Writer Paul La Farge has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2005. The prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester. La Farge is receiving this year's Bard Fiction Prize for his novel Haussmann, or the Distinction, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux (2001). He will be writer-in-residence at Bard College for the spring 2005 semester, where he will continue his writing and will hold weekly colloquia with Bard students and give a public reading.
Bard Fiction Prize judges Mary Caponegro, Robert Kelly, and Bradford Morrow describe La Farge's Haussmann, or the Distinction, as "a structurally elegant narrative, lighthandedly wise and wittily profound, where characters of a folkloric simplicity interweave with urgent sophisticates in nineteenth-century Paris, or rather in that shimmering zone between history and its shadow: the dreams a city makes us dream and fancy we remember."
Paul La Farge is the author of two novels: The Artist of the Missing, and Haussmann, or the Distinction, which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2001. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Fence, STORY, McSweeney's and elsewhere; and his essays have been published in the Village Voice, The Believer, and on salon.com. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and is currently working on his third novel, which is about airplanes. Meanwhile, his fourth book, The Facts of Winter, will be published by McSweeney's Books in 2005.