The Night Ocean (Penguin Press) is the newest, perhaps most richly imagined novel in a series of striking novels Paul LaFarge has written over the past two decades, they including The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann, or the Distinction, and Luminous Airplanes, along with The Facts of Winter, a book of imaginary dreams.
“Was H.P. Lovecraft, the great American horror writer, gay? That’s the question at the start of this ingenious, provocative work of alternative history from La Farge …Like Lovecraft’s ‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ the novel consists of several sub-narratives, ranging widely in time and place. But instead of a revelation about humanity’s diminished place in an impersonal universe, La Farge delivers insights into the human need to believe in stories and the nature of literary fame, while consistently upsetting readers’ expectations….[H]e outdoes his predecessors with this crafty mix of love, sex, and lies.” —Publishers Weekly.
“It has been years since I read a novel with so much joy, impatience and awe. The Night Ocean overflows with difficult love, not least of all that of our narrator, Marina, who indirectly reminds us of how we are pushed around by dreams, ghosts, chance, and history. I have long been a tremendous admirer of all of La Farge’s work; this novel is my favorite.” – Rivka Galchen