Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Luminous Airplanes

Luminous Airplanes

A Novel

Paul La Farge




Trade Paperback

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

In September 2000, a young computer programmer comes home from a festival in the Nevada desert and learns that his grandfather has died. He must return to Thebes, a town so isolated that its inhabitants have their own language, and clean out the house where his family has lived for five generations. While he's there, he remembers San Francisco in the wild years of the Internet boom, and begins an ill-advised romance in which past and present are dangerously confused. Paul la Farge's Luminous Airplanes is an expansive, hugely imaginative, and very funny novel about history, love, memory, family, flying machines, dance music, and the end of the world.


I had just come home from a festival in Nevada, the theme of which was Contact with Other Worlds, when my mother, or, I should say, one of my mothers, called to tell me that my grandfather had died.


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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Paul La Farge

Paul La Farge is the author of the 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.

Paul La Farge

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