Lauren Groff

Portrait Lauren Groff
Lauren Groff [© Eli Sinkus]

Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York, in 1978. She made her debut in 2008 with »The Monsters of Templeton«. The troubled archaeology student Willie Upton returns to her hometown of Templeton, New York, where her family has been for centuries. But the question of her father’s identity remains unanswered. She begins to research her family history. The fact that the body of a monster is discovered in the local lake at the same time adds an element of spectacle to the story, which is told in a variety of voices. The »FAZ« described the book as »A debut that is worldly and rich in history«. This was followed by the volume »Delicate Edible Birds« [2009] with nine stories about female characters in 20th century America.

Lauren Groff’s second novel »Arcadia« [2012] follows the story of Bit Stone, six years old at the beginning. Born in a hippie commune in the late 1960s, he knows about the dreams of the community and experiences its failure, its decay. Even as an adult, he is still influenced by life in the commune. When his mother dies, it means Bit’s final farewell to Arcadia.

Groff’s »Fates and Furies« [2015] examines the marriage of the young married couple Lotto and Mathilde. He makes a career as a playwright, whereas she has his back for over twenty years. The novel devotes the first part to his perspective, the second to hers, with the author going back in each case to the childhood of her characters and revealing their different origins – »a subtly subversive book that tells of deep loneliness and of the unknown sides of the person we think we know best«, stated the »SZ«.

Lauren Groff’s second collection of stories, »Florida«, was published in 2018. The titular location and its nature, including the noticeable effects of climate change, set the mood for a narrative world in which the most dangerous animal is still man. Like »Light and Fury«, »Florida« was shortlisted for the National Book Award.

In her latest novel, »Matrix« [2021], Lauren Groff creates the fictional biography of a historical figure, the poet Marie de France: disowned by the royal court at the age of seventeen and sent to England to a nunnery, she finds new support in the sisterly community and transforms the convent into a place where women give each other everything they need. »Groff has written a beautiful, unclassifiable book, a queer history that recovers a great poet from the past and fills her with glorious, corporeal life«, wrote the »Guardian«.

The author lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Date: 2022