American author and short story writer Lauren Groff is returning to her roots with Florida, a new fiction collection next summer that will tour readers to the dark side of the sunshine through the lens of mostly disheveled female protagonists.
During an interview with the New Yorker over the summer, Groff stated that her newest collection would be “a portrait of my own incredible ambivalence about the state where I’ve lived for twelve years.” Filled with familiar stories like “Dogs Go Wolf,” “The Midnight Zone” and “Ghosts and Empties,” the latest addition to the novelist is sure to go over well with her fans.
In a recent talk with Isabella Biedenharn for Entertainment Weekly (November 14), the Fates and Furies author, a New Yorker at heart, described the inspiration behind her latest anthology as a prickling examination of Florida’s own whimsical atmosphere. When asked to compare the differences of perspective between transplants and natives, Groff provided an account of her own.
“It’s funny that you ask that because I just went for a run, and I was on the bike path, and just out of nowhere a little coral snake went right in front of my feet. I will never not be surprised by reptiles. I’m astonished by them. But also, the plant life is really different. I spend my summers in New Hampshire, where there is, in the spring, this bursting out of the ground because everything’s just really happy to be alive. But here in Florida, it’s this strange and constant cycling of flowers and plants that are always… they always seem a little bit prickly. Like the palmettos are a little sharp. The palms themselves have these berries that fall but they’re not edible, they just stain everything.
Everything seems a little bit dangerous in an interesting way. And everything’s very hot. And it really has this profound emotional effect on people, which I think, if you’re raised here, you wouldn’t see. But it’s this shift between having to put up with the heat and sunshine, versus someone who spends most of the winter in the dark, huddled against the cold, and then comes out in spring and summer.”
Florida will be published by Riverhead Books on June 5, 2018.
Are you a fan of Groff’s short fiction? Have any recommendations for us?
Share some of your favorites by the author in the comments below.
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