Arcadia (Groff) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—July 23, 1978
Where—Cooperstown, New York, USA
Education—B.A., Amherst College; M.F.A., University of
Awards—Pushcart Prize (see below)
Currently—lives in Gainesville, Florida

Lauren Groff grew up in Cooperstown, New York, one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including the Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, Five Points and Five Chapters, and in the anthologies Best American Short Stories 2007, Pushcart Prize XXXII, and Best New American Voices 2008. She was awarded the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville, and has had residencies and fellowships at Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center.

The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren's first novel, was a New York Times and Booksense bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her second book, Delicate Edible Birds, is a collection of stories. Both books are published by Hyperion. (From the author's website.)

Hyperion also published Lauren's second novel, Arcadia, in 2012. The story of an ill-fated commune in upper New York state during the 1960s and 80s, Arcadia received excellent reviews and was included in a number of Best Book of 2012 lists.

From a Barnes & Noble interview:

• Many—if not most—of my ancestors are Mennonite or Amish, all Pennsylvania Dutch—my grandfather still can speak Pennsylvania Dutch, and there's a Groffdale in Lancaster County filled with people who look curiously like me.

• I spent a year between high school and college as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Nantes, France—mostly in the house of a family with a catering business (when I returned from France, I'd gained so much weight that my parents didn't recognize me at first in the airport).

When asked what book most influenced her life as a writer, here is her response:

My absolute favorite book is Middlemarch, which I first read in high school, and have read again nearly every year since. George Eliot is the most intelligent of writers, capable of a breathtaking empathy, and able to write prose that pierces you. I love her panoramic take of a single town in this book: Middlemarch the town is whole and imperfect and beautiful, just like real life. It hovers before me as the ideal of a great book. (From Barnes & Noble.)

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