R. A. Lafferty

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Raphael Aloysius Lafferty (November 7, 1914 - March 18, 2002) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer known for his original use of language, metaphor, and narrative structure[1], as well as for his etymological wit. He also wrote a set of four autobiographical novels, In a Green Tree; a history book, The Fall of Rome; and a number of novels that could be more or less loosely called historical fiction.



Lafferty was born on 7 November 1914 in Neola, Iowa to Hugh David Lafferty (a broker dealing in oil leases and royalties) and Julia Mary Burke, a teacher, the youngest of five siblings. His first name, Raphael, derived from the day he was expected to be born on (the Feast of St. Raphael). At the age of 4, his family moved to Perry, Oklahoma. He graduated from Cascia Hall[2] and later attended night school at the University of Tulsa for two years from 1933, mostly studying math and German, but left. He then began to work for a "Clark Electric Co.", in Tulsa, Oklahoma and apparently a newspaper as well; during this period (1939–1942), he attended the International Correspondence School.

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