Florida (Groff) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Readers can practically feel the mosquitoes buzzing at their necks in stories Ms. Groff started writing a decade ago after moving to Florida.… In her stories, predators bite, hurricanes destroy and nature does not forgive.
Wall Street Journal

[Groff] stakes her claim to being Florida's unofficial poet laureate, as Joan Didion was for California,
Ron Charles - Washington Post

Superlative collection—seriously, there’s not a dud in the bunch.… Groff is an extra terrific writer, as ever.… Having followed an astonishing, astonishingly accessible novel with such an outstanding, accessible collection, Groff is surely poised to topple the tiny monkeys in charge of deciding that the perceived realm of the feminine isn’t sufficiently deep.
Boston Globe

[The stories] take on an inexplicably cohesive form with a sad-, beautiful- and naked-ness that reverberates in the mind long after the book is shut.
Atlanta Constitution-Journal

Groff is still on-brand. Her writing about relationships rarely sticks within the narrow, Updike-ian confines of domestic dysfunction, though. Even in short stories, she prefers broader canvases, and much of Florida is filled with hurricanes and other violent storms that run parallel to the personal crises she describes.…  Straightforward but moody and metaphorical—magical realism without the sparkle and sense of wonder.
Los Angeles Times

Groff’s desire seems to be to show—in a frequently funny, sometimes painful and always deeply sensitive way—that women and children are often stronger than we tend to think, and that the Earth is more fragile than we usually allow ourselves to understand.
San Francisco Chronicle

[T]ogether, the stories have the feel of autobiography, although, as in a Salvador Dali painting, their emotional disclosures are encrypted in phantasmagoria.… The sentences indigenous to Florida are gorgeously weird and limber.
New Yorker

Slime mold, a father killed by snake venom, a mother haunted by a deadly panther, and half-feral little girls abandoned on an island—these bizarre happenings could be set only in the Sunshine State, and be written only by Groff, the Gabriel García Márquez of Gainesville. Reading as required as insect repellent in a swamp.
O Magazine

Ferocious weather and self-destructive impulses plague the characters in this assured collection…. Groff’s skillful prose, self-awareness, and dark humor leaven the bleakness, making this a consistently rewarding collection.
Publishers Weekly

A frank, rambunctious, generous writer, Groff… provides slice-of-life reading, capturing the scents and sounds of her newly adopted state, Florida.… Well-observed, unexpected writing for fans and more.
Library Journal

(Starred review) These are raw, danger-riddled, linguistically potent pieces. They unsettle their readers at every pass.… And Groff gets the humid, pervasive white racism that isn't her point but curdles through plenty of her characters. A literary tour de force.
Kirkus Reviews

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