Lauren Groff is one of the most important authors writing today, and Florida -- her first new book since her "clear the ground triumph"* Fates and Furies -- 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 its gravitational center. 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.
In "The Midnight Zone," a woman finds herself injured and isolated in a confined space with her children, danger literally prowling outside the door, and must confront what it is she is really afraid of. "Above and Below" follows a young homeless woman as she moves from one Florida beach town to another, finding increasingly precarious ways to survive. And "Yport" brilliantly explores the alternating fulfillment and anxiety of modern marriage and motherhood, all the more apparent when removed from routine American life.
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.
Format/pages: paperback / 288 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books