Name: Lauren Groff
Place of Birth: Cooperstown, NY
Current Home: Gainesville, FL
Education: Amherst ('01), University of Madison-Wisconsin (MFA, '06)
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
I loved the small classes and the lack of prerequisites, which allowed me to experiment and to figure out what it was that I was passionate about.
Most memorable or most influential class at Amherst
Judy Frank's Intro to Creative Writing taught me that I wasn't a poet, but a fiction writer; I owe her everything.
I wrote an honors thesis for the English Department, which played around with autobiography and fiction.
Awards and Prizes
Guggenheim Fellowship, Radcliffe Fellowship, National Book Award Finalist, National Book Critics Award Finalist, LA Times Book Award Finalist, Kirkus Award Finalist, O. Henry Prize, Pushcart Prize, Five stories in the Best American Short Stories anthology, Paul Bowles Prize, American Booksellers' Association Fiction Winner, Grand Prix de l'Héroïne winner, Granta's Best of Young American Novelists.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Tips for aspiring writers?
Commit fully and do what it takes to try to write every day. Let yourself fail often and massively in the beginning—through failure, you find the scope of your abilities and talents.
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming an author
I wrote seriously all through Amherst, and after Amherst I was a bartender and administrative assistant for three years while I wrote my first three novels. I went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my M.F.A., and while there I wrote most of my first two published books, The Monsters of Templeton, and Delicate Edible Birds.
Lauren Groff is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, along with five Best American Short Stories anthologies, and she was named one of Granta's 2017 Best Young American Novelists. Her next book, a collection of short stories called Florida, will be published in June 2018. Lauren lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.
Learn more about Florida on the author's website.