Florida
by Groff, Lauren






A collection of stories spanning centuries of time in mercurial Florida examines the decisions and connections behind life-changing events in characters ranging from two abandoned sisters to a conflicted family woman. By the award-winning author of Delicate Edible Birds.





Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the celebrated short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She has won the PEN/O. Henry Award, and been a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, along with several Best American Short Stories anthologies, and she was named one of Granta's 2017 Best Young American Novelists. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.





The flora and fauna of the Sunshine State vine and prowl through Groff's second short story collection and first book since the smash-hit novel Fates and Furies (2015). With sympathy for her characters and a keen sensitivity to the natural world, Groff gets readers wondering who or what will triumph or succumb. Contrary to all good advice, a woman waits out a hurricane in her historic home and is visited by the ghosts of men she's loved. A writer, the mother of two young sons, appears in several stories. In one, she's alone with the boys in a remote cabin when she falls while changing a lightbulb and then battles to remain calm and awake in a concussed delirium. In "Yport," the three spend a summer month in France for the woman's research on Guy de Maupassant, and it will be the boys who teach her something she hadn't realized about the writer she'd long studied. Though 10 of the 11 stories have been previously published, their power as a single unit is undeniable. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





In 11 electric short stories, the gifted Groff (Fates and Furies, 2015, etc.) unpacks the "dread and heat" of her home state. In her first fiction since President Barack Obama named Fates and Furies his favorite book of the year, Groff collects her singing, stinging stories of foreboding and strangeness in the Sunshine State. Groff lives in Gainesville with a husband and two sons, and four of these tales are told from the perspectives of unmoored married mothers of young ones. The first, "Ghosts and Empties," which appeared in the New Yorker, begins with the line, "I have somehow become a woman who yells," a disposition the narrator tries to quell by walking at all hours as "the neighbors' lives reveal themselves, the lit windows domestic aquariums." Groff fans will recognize the descriptive zest instantly. The same quasi-hapless mother seems to narrate "The Midnight Zone," in which she imperils the lives of her boys by falling off a stool and hitting her head while alone wit h them at a remote cabin, "where one thing [she] liked was how the screens at night pulsed with the tender bellies of lizards." Ditto for the lonely oddballs telling "Flower Hunters" and "Yport," the longest and last story, in which the reckless mother is often coated in alcohol. These are raw, danger-riddled, linguistically potent pieces. They unsettle their readers at every pass. In the dreamy, terrific "Dogs Go Wolf," two little girls are abandoned on an island, their starvation lyrical: "The older sister's body was made of air. She was a balloon, skidding over the ground"; their rescue is akin to a fairy tale. Equally mesmerizing is "Above and Below," in which the graduate student narrator sinks away and dissipates into vivid, exacting homelessness. Even the few stories that dribble off rather than end, such as "For the God of Love, For the Love of God," have passages of surpassing beauty. And Groff gets the humid, pervasive white racism that isn't her point but curdles t hrough plenty of her characters. A literary tour de force of precariousness set in a blistering place, a state shaped like a gun. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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