Richard Fariña

Richard George Fariña (March 8, 1937 – April 30, 1966) was an American folksinger, songwriter, poet and novelist.

Fariña was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States, the son of an Irish mother, Theresa Crozier, and a Cuban father of Galician origin, also named Richard Fariña. He grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He earned an academic scholarship to Cornell University, starting as an engineering major, but later switching to English. While at Cornell he published short stories for local literary magazines and for national periodicals, including Transatlantic Review and Mademoiselle. Fariña became good friends with Thomas Pynchon, David Shetzline, and Peter Yarrowwhile at Cornell. He was suspended for alleged participation in a student demonstration against campus regulations, and although he later resumed his status as a student, he dropped out in 1959, just before graduation. On April 30, 1966, two days after the publication of his novel, Fariña attended a book-signing ceremony at a Carmel Valley Village bookstore, the Thunderbird. Later that night Fariña was killed on a motorcycle ride heading east toward the rural Cachagua area of Carmel Valley.

Share this post

Leave a Comment