La Farge, Oliver

La Farge, Oliver

La Farge, Oliver (lä färzh), 1901–63, American writer and anthropologist, b. New York City, grad. Harvard (B.A., 1924; M.A., 1929). He conducted three archaeological expeditions to Arizona and also ethnological expeditions to Guatemala and Mexico. La Farge used his field experience to authenticate his reflective stories of Native American habit and character. Laughing Boy (1929), a novel of Navajo life, won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1930. Other works are The Sparks Fly Upward (1931), The Enemy Gods (1937), and the stories All the Young Men (1935). Santa Fe recounts the history of that city.


See his autobiographical Raw Material (1945); biographies by E. Gillis (1967), D. McNickle (1971), and T. M. Pearce (1972).

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La Farge, Oliver (Hazard Perry)

(1901–63) anthropologist, author; born in New York City. An architect's son, he graduated from Harvard in 1924, and with a background of three field trips into Navajo country, he became an assistant in ethnology at Tulane in 1925. With a coauthor, he published Tribes and Temples, an ethnology of the Guatemalan Indians, in 1927. His novel Laughing Boy won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929. He continued to write prolifically. He headed the Association of American Indian Affairs, and in the 1950s became a prominent champion of Native American political and social causes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.