Beat the Backlist: Lauren Groff collection 2

#BeatTheBacklist with us by reading three titles by Lauren Groff that got reissued in May

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We are always looking to expand our reading tastes and one way to do so is to read authors’ backlist. Hence, we are participating in the #BeatTheBacklist challenge, where we read an author’s titles from their back catalogue. This is actually easy to do given many backlists get reissued, especially as the author becomes more famous. Today we are recommending three titles written by Lauren Groff which got reprinted this year. Lauren Groff is a short story writer, and her stories have been published in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and some of which were reprinted in the books we will talk about today.

In May this year, Penguin UK reissued Delicate Edible Birds, Arcadia, and Florida, which were first published in 2009, 2012, and 2018, respectively. The new covers are simple and elegant, and they look gorgeous together. Delicate Edible Birds has a bright red-ish theme, with (edible?) birds on the cover. Arcadia spots a mansion on the cover, which alludes to the Arcadia House that the story is set in. And finally, Florida spots a bright blue theme, with crocodiles.

Delicate Edible Birds has 9 short stories, including the title story. Each story is long enough to paint a complete picture in whichever setting or era Lauren Groff is sending you to, and features very well-developed and diverse characters. The title story is definitely one of the strongest ones. The other personal favourites would be Lucky Chow Fun and L. DeBard and Aliette – you will find yourself feeling sorry for the girls in Lucky Chow Fun even if they weren’t even the main characters in the story; and you will find yourself feeling conflicted from L. DeBard and Aliette as the story is a lovely romance, yet it feels wrong at the same time.

Similarly, Florida features 11 stories centred around the Florida experience. But while the stories are all set in Florida, they shine a spotlight on people from all walks of life all the same. Our favourite is definitely At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners, which follows a man’s life and how his relationship with the wilderness of Florida has changed throughout the years.

Arcadia, instead, is a novel that focuses on a child born into a 1960s hippy community where readers get to check in on him at 4 stages of his life. For those who are not a fan of short stories, Arcadia would be perfect as you will get to enjoy Lauren Groff’s vivid imagery all set in the same environment.

Lauren Groff has a new book coming out in September titled The Vaster Wilds and we can’t wait to check that out! In the meantime, maybe we should read her other backlist titles? 2018, 2012 and 2009 recently.

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