Arcadia

By Lauren Groff
(Hyperion, Paperback, 9781401341909, 304pp.)

Publication Date: October 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Hardcover, Hardcover

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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

New York Times Bestseller

"Timeless and vast... The raw beauty of Ms. Groff's prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book's only kind of splendor." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Even the most incidental details vibrate with life Arcadia wends a harrowing path back to a fragile, lovely place you can believe in." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post

In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, the charismatic leader; his wife, Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He falls in love with Helle, Handy's lovely, troubled daughter. And eventually he must face the world beyond Arcadia.

In Arcadia, Groff displays her literary gifts to stunning effect.

"Fascinating." --People (****)

"It's not possible to write any better without showing off." --Richard Russo, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls

"Dazzling." --Vogue




About the Author

Lauren Groff is the author of the New York Times bestselling MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON and the critically acclaimed short story collection DELICATE EDIBLE BIRDS. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her short stories have appeared in several literary publications, including The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares, and she has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo.




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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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Thinking of Arcadia at its best moments, which of its values and tenets seem healthy and important for an individual? For a social group?

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