Bard News & Events

Press Release


Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Writer Paul La Farge has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2004. 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 He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and is currently working on his fourth novel, which is about airplanes. Meanwhile, his third book, The Facts of Winter, will be published by McSweeney's Books in 2005. The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October to a promising young fiction writer, can be viewed as a continuation of Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard literature faculty, past and present, represent some of the most important American writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Last year’s Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to writer Monique Truong, author of the novel The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) # The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded annually to a promising, emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to the monetary award, the winner receives an appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient will give at least one public lecture and will meet informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a C.V., along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted. Applications for the 2005 prize must be received by July 15, 2005. For information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to, or visit Applicants may also request information by writing to the Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000. # # # 10/15/04

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This event was last updated on 02-25-2005