**A BARACK OBAMA BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**2018 National Book Awards Finalist**
In these vigorous stories, Lauren Groff brings her electric storytelling to a world in which storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats are of a human, emotional and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple; a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable conflicted wife and mother.
The stories in this collection span characters, towns, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history and state of mind – becomes the gravitational centre. With shocking accuracy, Groff pinpoints the connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury – the moments that make us alive.
'Restorative fiction for these urgent times.' New York Times
‘A blistering collection ... lyrical and oblique.' Guardian
"Florida is a magnificent collection, executed with tremendous depth and precision, unsettling in the best possible way. Lauren Groff is a virtuoso."
"Don’t tell yourself you don’t like short stories, because these are not to be missed. The book is deep and dark and resonant. Every story plays in some way on the others and in the end the total is worth even more than the sum of its beautiful parts."
"It’s beautiful. It’s giving me rich, grand nightmares."
"Florida feels innovative and terribly relevant. Any one of its stories is a bracing read; together they form a masterpiece."
"This is what she shows in story after story: a heroic pushback against the way we live now, against waste, against the artificial environments in which we find ourselves maintained by corporations, but equally against the pressures on women to be flawless, effortlessly excellent mothers, wives, sisters, lovers, friends, within this dire state of affairs … Groff’s lyrical and oblique stories catch these women in the midst of becoming aware of their complicity in perpetuating these narratives – to which their response is to walk, flee, or conversely refuse to budge, as in the dazzlingly apocalyptic ‘Eyewall’ … The hot, humid Floridian atmosphere hangs over all the stories … Every woman, every snake, is fighting back against the laws of nature, and the human-made Eden that threatens to imprison, or end, them all."