FINALIST FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER OF THE 2019 STORY PRIZE ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018 The universally acclaimed return of the New York Times bestselling author of Fates and Furies. "Haunting and arresting." (New York Times Book Review) "Outstanding." (The Boston Globe) "Marvelous." (The Economist) "Gorgeously weird and limber." (The New Yorker) "Easily the year's best story collection." (Vogue) "Groff's gifts as a writer just keep soaring higher and higher." (NPR's Fresh Air)
Florida is a "superlative" book (Boston Globe), "frequently funny" (San Francisco Chronicle), "brooding, inventive and often moving" (NPR Fresh Air) —as Groff is recognized as "Florida's unofficial poet laureate, as Joan Didion was for California." (Washington Post)
In her thrilling new book, Lauren Groff brings the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother. 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: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts 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, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.