Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff's 40 Books That Make up Her Brain

Lauren Groff, the famed novelist and short story author widely known for her works The Monsters of TempletonDelicate Edible BirdsArcadiaFates and Furies, and Florida, is celebrating her fortieth birthday today and, in honor of the reunion of her birth, she took to the Twittersphere to release into the winds a list of forty books that makeup her incredibly vast, brilliant, and talented brain.



Groff has gained notoriety as one of the masters of contemporary fiction, and it’s no wonder why. Her works are bold, cutting, strange, crude, and poetic; she has a way of turning the mundane into something uniquely stunning in all of it’s simplistic beauty:


It occurred to her then that life was conical in shape, the past broadening beyond the sharp point of the lived moment. The more life you had, the more the base expanded, so that the wounds and treasons that were nearly imperceptible when they happened stretched like tiny dots on a balloon slowly blown up. A speck on the slender child grows into a gross deformity in the adult, inescapable, ragged at the edges. —Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies


She is someone who will no doubt go down in history as one of the leading novelists of the modern era, and getting to take a small glimpse at the inner workings of her mind and the pieces of writing that have helped to influence and inspire her is so, insanely exciting. 


Thanks to Groff I officially have a new summer reading list so grab a pen, jot these down, and we can journey through these works together!


1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

2. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

3. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko

4. Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson

5. Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos

6. The Lover by Marguerite Duras

7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

8. Paradise Lost by John Milton

9. Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

10. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

11. Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

12. Beloved by Toni Morrison

13. A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

14. Light Years by James Salter

15. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

16. Citizen by Claudia Rankine

17. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis

18. Odyssey by Homer

19. Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

20. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

21. Cane by Jean Toomer

22. A Dance To The Music of Time by Anthony Powell

23. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

24. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

25. A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

26. The Decameron by Boccaccio

27. Inferno by Dante

28. The Visiting Privilege by Joy Williams

29. The Collected Stories by Grace Paley

30. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

31. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

32. NW by Zadie Smith

33. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

34. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

35. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Lois

36. Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje

37. Hadriana dans tous mes rêves by René Depestre

38. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

39. Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

40. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


In the end, fiction is the craft of telling truth through lies.






Featured Image via The New Yorker