Arcadia

By Lauren Groff
(Voice, Hardcover, 9781401340872, 291pp.)

Publication Date: March 2012

List Price: $25.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2012 Indie Next List
“I am left almost speechless by the beauty and raw reality of this book. The story is centered around a boy named Bit -- nicknamed for his small size. Groff splits the narrative into two parts: in the first, we watch Bit grow up in a utopian wooded commune in the early '70s; in the next part, Bit is an adult, a father raising his own child in New York City. Grofff's wonderful use of language brings us into Bit's world -- the intimacy, wonder, confusion, worry, and unwavering hope he holds as a child and the struggle, shattering grief, and quiet determined bravery he develops as a man. Stunning!”
-- Susan McCloskey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA


Description

From the bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton comes a lyrical and gripping story of a great American dream. In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group's charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, the book's protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. If he remains in love with the peaceful agrarian life in Arcadia and deeply attached to its residents--including Handy and Astrid's lithe and deeply troubled daughter, Helle--how can Bit become his own man? How will he make his way through life and the world outside of Arcadia where he must eventually live? With Arcadia, her first novel since her lauded debut, The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff establishes herself not only as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today but also as one of our most accomplished literary artists.




About the Author
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York, which is the model for "Templeton," her novel's setting. Groff's short stories have appeared in publications including "The Atlantic Monthly," "Ploughshares" and "The Best American Short Stories" and "Pushcart Prize" anthologies. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.


NPR
Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012

Hang on tight. These five new works of fiction will take you on an exhilarating ride. Brace yourself for a noir he-said-she-said, an R-rated version of Marie Antoinette's life and death, a haunting tale from a back-to-nature commune and Toni Morrison's lush Home. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, Jun 17, 2012

Lynn Neary talks to three critics about the books you absolutely shouldn't miss this summer. Critic Laura Miller of Salon.com, says it's a particularly rich literary summer because in election years, publishers release their juiciest books before the fall. More at NPR.org

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