Lauren Groff: The Books in My Life
On Which Books Unhealthily Reset Her Brain and Drive Her to Netflix
The paperback edition of Lauren Groff’s National Book Award Finalist Fates and Furies is now available.
What was the first book you fell in love with ?
I should probably say something beautiful or classic, like The Phantom Tollbooth, or The Secret Garden or Little Women, but the truth is that I discovered Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave-Bear in third grade on my parents’ bookshelf, and it reset my brain in ways that are probably very unhealthy.
Some small part of me still wants to be Ayla, with her survival skills and slingshot and sexy bearded sidekick Jondalar.
Name a classic you feel guilty about never having read?
I can’t, for the life of me, make it through The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Maybe it’s the translation I’m using. Maybe I’m just not ready for it. But I’ve tried five times, and five times I wander off in the middle to watch some terrible movie on Netflix.
What’s the book you reread the most (why)?
I reread Middlemarch once a year. I just want to live inside George Eliot’s warmth and wisdom for a little while.
Is there a book you wish you had written (why)?
I wish I’d written many books, including the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novels, everything by Anne Carson and Alice Munro, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, the hybrid books by Michael Ondaatje, William Maxwell’s novels, and so many other books that I’m panicking a little in the mental avalanche of them.
What’s the new book you’re most looking forward to?
Like the rest of the book-reading world, I’m itching to read Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time.