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New York Times bestseller Lauren Groff returns with a new book as bold and consuming as her novel Fates and Furies.

Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Florida – her first new book since her ‘clear the ground triumph’ Fates and Furies (Washington Post) – is an electrifying, expanding read.

Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history and state of mind – becomes their gravitational centre. Storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature.

Groff’s evocative storytelling and knife-sharp intelligence first transport the reader, then jolt us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, Groff pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury – the moments that make us alive. Vigorous, startling, precise and moving, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

Reviews

Florida is a magnificent collection, executed with tremendous depth and precision, unsettling in the best possible way. Lauren Groff is a virtuoso.

Emily St John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

Don’t tell yourself you don’t like short stories, because these are not to be missed. The book is deep and dark and resonant. Every story plays in some way on the others and in the end the total is worth even more than the sum of its beautiful parts.

Ann Patchett

It’s beautiful. It’s giving me rich, grand nightmares.

Eva Wiseman, Observer

Florida feels innovative and terribly relevant. Any one of its stories is a bracing read; together they form a masterpiece.

Stylist

This is what she shows in story after story: a heroic pushback against the way we live now, against waste, against the artificial environments in which we find ourselves maintained by corporations, but equally against the pressures on women to be flawless, effortlessly excellent mothers, wives, sisters, lovers, friends, within this dire state of affairs … Groff’s lyrical and oblique stories catch these women in the midst of becoming aware of their complicity in perpetuating these narratives – to which their response is to walk, flee, or conversely refuse to budge, as in the dazzlingly apocalyptic ‘Eyewall’ … The hot, humid Floridian atmosphere hangs over all the stories … Every woman, every snake, is fighting back against the laws of nature, and the human-made Eden that threatens to imprison, or end, them all.

Guardian

A lushly evocative collection of stories about the Sunshine State, its inhabitants and its history … Mesmerising … In her previous book, Fates and Furies — which was picked by Barack Obama as his favourite read of 2015 — Groff painted a psychologically rich portrait of a marriage as told from both sides. She brings the same attention to detail to Florida, in a multifaceted portrayal of both the state and its inhabitants … The Florida winter wraps itself around “camellias and peach trees and dogwoods and oranges”, but it is the summer she captures so well … She’s a writer whose turn of phrase can stop you in your tracks … Something untameable lurks restlessly beneath the surface of this book. Groff’s incomparable prose pulsates with peril; its beauty, like that of the titular state itself, lies in a certain wild lushness.

Financial Times

The collection testifies to Groff’s brilliance as a writer of both places and people. She grapples with interpersonal relations and the inner lives of others with perceptiveness, wit and emotional engagement.

Literary Review

Easily the year’s best story collection . . . these indelibly vivid tales read like inoculations against cynicism.

Vogue

She is an example of writers who can do everything – dialogue, structure, the throb and hum of inner life – so brilliantly. The result is so heady and evocative, you’ll be wafting away imaginary heat waves and checking your room for scaly threats as you read, while Florida’s cast of lost, sad and sometimes cruel characters will stick with you far longer.

Esquire UK

An unsettling, stinging collection that feeds on Florida’s paradoxes.

Sunday Times

She boldly explores conflicts and connections between everything from humans and their natural surroundings to pleasure and pain.

Time Magazine

These psychological stories, whose impeccable structures are at odds with the chaos they often describe, provide glimpses into a variety of lives under the same tempestuous sky.

Spectator

One of the most eagerly anticipated short story collections of the year.

Stylist

A connoisseur of the tension between appearance and depth. Her dazzling third novel, Fates and Furies, a portrait of a marriage built on secrets, was nominated for the National Book Award. Her new collection plunges into similarly murky terrain … There is more than a little of David Lynch in Ms Groff's Floridian landscape: exotic and bright, yet pulsing with hidden malevolence … Real and metaphorical storms proliferate, along with ghosts, alligators and snakes. Two menaces in particular slither through Ms Groff's work: the obliteration of women by marriage and motherhood, and looming environmental collapse … Against these threats Ms Groff sets the particularity of individual lives, love and above all language. Her own is alive to Florida's lush, beguiling beauty … Ms Groff's writing is marvellous, her insights keen, each story a glittering, encrusted treasure hauled from the deep.

Economist

Explores the contradictions of a maddening and seductive state … Female characters in the collection find themselves isolated and endangered, exposed and compelled to let the elements have their way with them.

Times Literary Supplement

A kaleidoscopic portrait of one state.

Observer

Though Groff moves adroitly through an impressive range of lives, times, and places, the stories often seem propelled more by a supercharged pathetic fallacy than by action and character . . . the landscape and fauna seem to make metaphor on a monumental scale. . . . The book stages an intriguing relationship between the individual and the collective . . . Climate change, though explicitly addressed only in glances, is a palpable threat, given a force still unusual in fiction by a treatment that makes it hard to distinguish from interior phenomena.

Harper's Magazine

the collection testifies to Groff’s brilliance as a writer of both places and people. She grapples with interpersonal relations and the inner lives of others with perceptiveness, wit and emotional engagement

Literary Review

The realism of Groff’s stories is matched by her lyricism: botanical details and evocations of weather give her prose an addictive quality

i newspaper

There are panthers, snakes and hurricanes heading in the direction of the angry, lonely characters in Lauren Groff's vivid stories, but the greatest threat comes from their own unwieldy feelings, as doubt, regret and dissatisfaction scupper all notions of emotional security.

Psychologies

Lush, and tinged with paranoia…[Groff] should be better known in Britain.

Sunday Times

My god, can Lauren Groff write or what?! ... This short story collection showcases a master craftswoman whose sentences reverberate with depth and power.

Victoria Sadler

[A] strikingly vivid Florida of the mind…an extraordinary trip for the reader.

Daily Mail

Groff's writing is clever, caustic yet with a mother's tender sensibility. And such powers of description!... I was blown away!

Saga

Superb stories.

RTE Online

Lyrical, lacerating collection.

Daily Mail

Groff’s writing is superb and she captures her characters eccentricities or their bizarre situations perfectly. There are laugh out loud moments with some parts that were odd and some even creepy. Everyone who will read this collection will definitely get something out of it.

DeuceKindred Blog

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781785151897

    June 18, 2018

    William Heinemann

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781785151880

    June 15, 2018

    William Heinemann

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies
Arcadia
Delicate Edible Birds
The Monsters of Templeton

Recommendations

No Middle Name
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Paris For One And Other Stories
Men Without Women
Last Stories
Three Japanese Short Stories
The Pier Falls
The Shore
Now You See Her
Uncommon Type
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
Homesick For Another World
The Start of Something
Snowdrift and Other Stories (includes three new recently discovered short stories)
The Tsar of Love and Techno
A Snow Garden and Other Stories
Make Something Up
Collected Stories
Revenge