When President Obama calls your last book his favorite of 2015, your next had better be impressive.
So sky-high were the expectations for Lauren Groff, who, after the smash success of Fates and Furies, just published a new short-story collection, Florida.
Not all of the 11 stories are set in the titular state (though most are), but they do share a fascination with the danger, desperation and malaise Groff has come to know and respect about her adopted home state—and its inhabitants.
Take, for example, “Ghosts and Empties,” about a morose mother who takes long midnight walks around her neighborhood to calm her anxieties and anger. Or “Dogs Go Wolf,” about two young girls abandoned on an island, forced to eat ChapStick for sustenance while hiding from the threats that could be lurking around every corner.