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Daisy Lafarge Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Anthologies

Makar/Unmakar: Twelve Contemporary Poets in Scotland(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Daisy Lafarge is an editor, artist, and writer who is best known for his debut novel “Paul” and “Life Without Air,” his first poetry collection.

Her essays and reviews on literature, art, and ecology have been widely published. They have appeared in the likes of The White Review, Granta, TANK Magazine, LitHub, Art Review, and Wellcome Collection Stories.
In 2021, she graduated from the University of Glasgow with a doctorate, majoring in infection and intimacy. She has also won several awards including the 2019 Betty Trask Award for fiction and the 2017 Eric Greogry Award for poetry.
Her visual work has been exhibited in institutions and galleries such as the Edinburgh Art Festival, Talbot Rice Gallery, and Tate St Ives.

Daisy published “Lovebug,” a book about intimacy and infection as part of the fulfillment of the requirements for her doctorate at the University of Glasgow.

It was while she was studying at the Edinburgh College of Art that Daisy Lafarge started amassing botanical specimens and researching the colonial history of plant hunting.

She also studied all she could find on the Enlightenment era fetish for classifying and ordering. Much of what she studied and researched at this time was the inspiration for her work “Not For Gain.”
This was an exceptional image work that included footage that Lafarge took in Glasshouses at the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens.

Daisy has often said in interviews that she has always loved and been intrigued by glasshouses and this was perhaps why she produced that work.

For several years during her childhood, she lived in South London’s Crystal Palace. This is a suburb that will always be haunted by the massive glass structure conceived by Joseph Paxton even after it was torn down.
This is made even more striking by the carved stone sphinxes and grandiose steps in the park that lead nowhere.

While she loved working on art, by the time she made “Not For Gain,” she was gravitating toward writing.

She was more interested in the seductive and lulling narrative as opposed to the more direct approach of exploring questions around the politics of naming, borders, weeds and specimens, exclusion and inclusion, and pleasure.

Unlike many people who study science, Daisy Lafarge got herself involved in artistic pursuits too. Her interest in plague and infection often finds its way into her poetry.

Her doctorate incorporated molecular epidemiology and geography and as such, she used to go on several research trips some to northern Tanzania to study diseases passed from people to animals and vice versa.
It took her a long time to figure out how to make use of her educational qualifications given that she lacked scientific disciplinary training.

Most of what she had at her disposal was a wide range of stuff and vocabulary she had from her studies, which she decided to put into a story that would then become “Lovebug.”
She had always been curious about how almost everyone thought of infectious agents as inherently malicious or bad while she thought they could also be relevant in terms of interspecies intimacy and symbiosis.

It was in 2016 that Daisy Lafarge began writing her debut work of fiction “Paul,” even though she has been ruminating on the idea for a while.

While it is very much a unique work, it is related to other projects she had worked on in the past such as “Lovebug,” her PhD project work, and “Life Without Air,” her poetry collection.
While Daisy pens her works in very different modes, the motivations for all her works are similar. She is all about intimacy – whether familial, romantic, ecological, or antagonistic attachments.
While they are not necessarily a trilogy, they have all definitely informed the writing of each other.

Daisy Lafarge’s novel “Paul” is a work told in the first person by the lead character Frances.

She is in Paris studying a French medieval manuscript after graduating from England. The work she is working on is believed to be a primer before she moves on to more significant works.
But then there is a scandal involving her and her supervisor that forces her to leave Paris and head to Provincial France.

She intends to spend the summer in rural France volunteering in the hope that harvesting honey and tending vegetables will distract her from her unfinished research and the scandal that drove her out of Paris.
She first lands at an artistic commune/eco farm named “Noa Noa” run by Paul, a charismatic but older wannabe anthropologist and part-time photographer. The man loves to tell anyone who would listen of when he used to live like the natives in Tahiti.
It is not long before she starts falling under the influence of Paul and try as much as she can, she cannot get away from him despite evidence of a darker side of his time in Tahiti.
It is an uncomfortable and almost unbearable story but strangely very gripping.

“Lovebug” by Daisy Lafarge is a book whose essence is not so easy to capture, even though it can be described as a book about vulnerability, infection, and intimacy.
The work skips across genres but Lafarge keeps her fluid approach and makes a work that evolves to become something uncontained and expensive just like a pathogen.
She brings together psychoanalysis, microbiology, and the author’s experience right from the start.

The work is in intense dialogue with literary influences such as Simone Weil, Susan Sontag, Julia Kristeva, and John Donne combined with scientific influences.
Daisy describes Gillian Rose and Anahid Nersessian in particular as angels who were constantly on her shoulder while she wrote the work.

At its core, the novel is a study of the simultaneous beauty of living and its terror as well as the necessity of language.

Lafarge investigates the uncomfortable intimacy between the many parasites, viruses, and bacteria and the human body that hosts them.

Daisy Lafarge’s poetry collection “Life Without Air” is an ecologically nuanced, compassionate, and innovative collection that bridges prose and poetry, as it interrogates the conditions necessary for survival.
It was Louis Pasteur who while observing the process of fermentation discovered that many organisms perished without oxygen while some could thrive regardless of the lack of oxygen.

In this dreamlike and capricious collection, scenes and characters traverse states of airlessness from suffocating institutions and relationships, ecstatic asphyxiations, and toxic environments.

The poems bring out the real feeling of asphyxiation and ask questions of how ecological disasters impact air quality, leaving us breathless with a sense of airlessness.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Daisy Lafarge

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