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Lauren Groff

National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of Fates and Furies and Florida

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  • About Lauren Groff

    Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, Fates and Furies, and Matrix, as well as the celebrated short-story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida, a 2018 National Book Award finalist. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

    In her lectures, Groff captivates audiences with thoughtful reflections on the writing craft and discussion of the influences and inspiration behind her bestselling works. 

    Fates and Furies was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Amazon’s #1 Best Book of the Year in 2015. It is an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception, and has garnered tremendous critical acclaim. Her followup book, Florida, was similarly acclaimed and was nominated for the 2018 National Book Award and won the prestigious annual Story Prize. Her latest novel, Matrix, was an instant New York Times bestseller, winner of the 2022 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award. She also edited a collection of stories by author Nancy Hale entitled Where the Light Falls, bringing a forgotten master of the short story back into the literary conversation.

    Lauren Groff’s work has appeared in a number of magazines, including The New YorkerHarper’s, and The Atlantic, and in several of the annual The Best American Short Stories anthologies. Groff’s fiction has won the Paul Bowles Prize for Fiction, the Medici Book Club Prize, the PEN/O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. She lives in Gainsville, Florida with her husband and two sons.

    Contact us for more information about booking Lauren Groff for your next event. 

  • Speaking Topics

    The Furies

    Women’s anger is potent, one of the greatest drivers of social change, and yet it is—even in the 21st Century—still somehow taboo. This talk looks at angry women from literary history, including Dido, Medea, Becky Sharp, Anna Karenina, and Emma Bovary, as well as others, and looks toward the future of female anger.

    Breaking the Bones

    In the work of the great philosopher and psychotherapist Carl Jung, archetypes are evidence of primordial form-making, a kind of generalized substratum found throughout all of humanity. Readers and writers should be wary of archetypes that don’t grow to reflect changing human eras; this talk identifies and tries to subvert a number of commonly-seen archetypes, such as the witch, the cowboy, and the princess.

    Gaps, Spaces, and Silences

    In 1951, John Cage entered the anechoic chamber at Harvard University, expecting to hear silence. Instead, as he later wrote, "I heard two sounds, one high and one low. When I described them to the engineer in charge, he informed me that the high one was my nervous system in operation, the low one my blood in circulation.” This experience led to 4’33”, Cage’s famous three-movement composition in which the musicians are explicitly instructed not to play their instruments. The result is perhaps not music (arguable!); the result is also, marvelously, not silence. The gaps in a text—the pauses, rests, caesurae, silences—are empty of words, but they’re full of resonance, the vacuum filled instantly by the reader’s swift comprehension. This talk looks at white space, elisions, pauses, negations and things left unsaid, drawing on the work of Marguerite Duras, William Faulkner, Georges Perec, and Jenny Offill, among others.

    Radical Failures

    A writer is only as strong as her understanding of her own weaknesses. This talk celebrates the way the great masters of writing—including Danté, Jane Bowles, and Cormac McCarthy—embrace and even exploit their failures to create indelible, searing works of art. There are larger, political implications in identifying the ways in understanding how the borders of privilege (and the lack of privilege) contribute to these invisible, deeply internal walls within us.

    Art at the End of the World

    William Carlos Williams sent a furious sally against the misconception that art isn’t necessary in his marvelous love poem Asphodel, that Greeny Flower, when he says:

    It is difficult
    to get the news from poems
    yet men die miserably every day
    for lack
    of what is found there.

    It can be difficult to justify art during the Anthropocene, at a time when it feels as though the world is swiftly darkening. This talk elevates and celebrate the necessity of art, drawing on ideas from poets and writers through the ages, including the great Czeslaw Milosz and George Eliot.

  • Video

  • Praise for Lauren Groff

    Praise for Matrix

    A radiant novel about the 12th-century poet and mystic Marie de France. . . Groff richly imagines Marie’s decades of exile in a royal convent, which she eventually leads. A charged novel about female ambition.”

    Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

    Just when it seems there are nothing but chronicles of decline and ruin comes Lauren Groff’s Matrix, about a self-sufficient abbey of 12th-century nuns—a shining, all-female utopian community… it is finally its spirit of celebration that gives this novel its many moments of beauty.

    Wall Street Journal

    [T]hrilling and heartbreaking. Groff. . . crafts an electric work of historical fiction.

    TIME

    [A] page-by-page pleasure as we soar with her.

    New York Times Book Review

    Far more than a treat for history buffs. . . . [Groff] writes a creative, intelligent work that will last.

    Boston Globe

    Incandescent. . . a radiant work of imagination and accomplishment.

    Esquire

    In Lauren Groff’s hands, the tale of a medieval nunnery is must-read fiction.

    The Washington Post

    Stunning . . .grand, mythic . . .feels both ancient and urgent, as holy as it is deeply human.

    Entertainment Weekly

    An electric reimagining . . . feminist, sensual . . . unforgettable.

    O, The Oprah Magazine

    An inspiring novel that truly demonstrates the power women wield, regardless of the era. It has sisterhood, love, war, sex …[Q]uite impossible to put down.

    NPR

    A relentless exhibition of Groff’s freakish talent. In just over 250 pages, she gives us a character study to rival Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell or Robert Caro’s Robert Moses.

    USA Today

    The medieval nun drama you didn’t know you needed.

    Vulture

    A bold new direction for the accomplished writer.

    Vogue

    [I]n an appealingly unpredictable move, Lauren Groff has turned her attentions to 12th-century English nuns. The result is a highly distinctive novel of great vigour and boldness … we are carried on the force of her style, and held by the strength of an intelligence that lets comedy and emotional complexity work together … an assertively modern novel about leadership, ambition and enterprise, and about the communal life of individuals.

    The Guardian

    Transcendently beautiful … It’s surprisingly delicious to read fiction about a historical figure we know so little about.

    Shondaland

    A propulsive, enchanting, and emotionally charged read.

    Washington Independent Review of Books

    A mesmerizing study of faith, passion and violence.

    Harper’s Bazaar

    Sumptuous, sublime . . engrossing.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Expansive . . . . passionately feminist, funny and even a bit profane.

    Good Housekeeping

    This transportive and meditative tale that will swallow you up from the very start.

    Newsweek

    A premier stylist, [Groff] continues to grow….The voice she finds for Marie de France…will hold readers fast.

    Los Angeles Times

    Mesmerizing . . . . A bold, thrilling work that highlights the wild, wide range of Groff’s imagination.

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    Groff’s . . . most daring work to date. . . . sumptuous but brisk storytelling mines the Dark Age abbey for veins of violence, humor, empowerment, and spirituality and forges something compelling, strange, and recognizable to modern eyes.

    Philadelphia Inquirer

    An unforgettable vision.

    Tampa Bay Times

    An audacious piece of storytelling, full of passion, wisdom and magic.

    Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Paying Guests

    A thrillingly vivid, adventurous story about women and power that will blow readers’ minds. Left me gasping.

    Emma Donoghue, author of Room

    Luminous, divine, her masterpiece.

    Daisy Johnson, author of Sisters

    Matrix is alive with lust and glory. In the incandescent Marie de France – visionary, cantankerous and uncowed by the constraints of her sex – Groff paints a portrait of sisterhood that shines out of the past and into the lives of women today.

    C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills is Gold

    Groff has created a labyrinth of jewel-like moments . . . and transformed it into a novel that is perfect for right now.

    BookPage, STARRED review

    Splendid with rich description and period vocabulary, this courageous and spine-tingling novel shows an incredible range for Groff (Florida, 2018), and will envelop readers fully in Marie’s world, interior and exterior, all senses lit up. It is both a complete departure and an easy-to-envision tale of faith, power, and temptation.

    Booklist, STARRED review

    Set in early medieval Europe, this book paints a rousing portrait of an abbess seizing and holding power. . .Groff’s trademarkworthy sentences bring vivid buoyancy to a magisterial story.

    Kirkus, STARRED review

    Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.

    Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

    Praise for Florida

    Exquisite… [Florida] will haunt you long after the final page.

    Paste Magazine

    [A] compelling collection of short stories centered around the Sunshine State.

    Esquire

    A sensual, ambivalent portrait of Florida.

    BBC Culture

    Unforgettable characters and a rich portrait of humanity.

    Buzzfeed

    Unstoppable prose.

    BookRiot

    Groff fans will recognize the descriptive zest instantly. . . raw, danger-riddled, linguistically potent pieces. They unsettle their readers at every pass . . . A literary tour de force of precariousness set in a blistering place, a state shaped like a gun.

    Kirkus, starred review

    Well-observed, unexpected writing for fans and more.

    Library Journal

    Praise for Fates and Furies

    Renders majestic even the most familiar moments of everyday life… Groff’s writing is striking and revelatory.

    USA Today

    Audacious and gorgeous …. The result is not only deliciously voyeuristic but also wise on the simultaneous comforts and indignities of romantic partnership

    LA Times

    Sentence by sentence, this novel, like [Groff’s] others, is a thoroughbred. Measured by its narrative tricks, however, it is a Trojan horse. Groff’s story of a marriage in which neither partner truly understands the other uses a sophisticated technique to tell its simple story, subverting our expectations with a two-voice counterpoint as meaningful as it is dazzling.

    TIME

    Lauren Groff rips at the seams of an outwardly perfect marriage in her enchanting novel Fates and Furies.

    Vanity Fair

    Even from her impossibly high starting point, Lauren Groff just keeps getting better and better. Fates and Furies is a clear-the-ground triumph.

    Ron Charles, The Washington Post
  • Books by Lauren Groff

  • Media About Lauren Groff

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