Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff 's short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Hobart, and Five Points as well as in the anthologies Best American Short Stories 2007, Pushcart Prize XXXII, and Best New American Voices 2008. Her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, which was released earlier this month, has reaped very enthusiastic reviews and endorsements ... like Stephen King's: "The Monsters of Templeton is everything a reader might have expected from this gifted writer, and more ... I was sorry to see this rich and wonderful novel come to an end, and there is no higher success than that."

From an interview with Groff conducted by the Wall Street Journal's Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg:

The Wall Street Journal: How did Stephen King get onto your book so early?

Lauren Groff: He chose a story of mine for "The Best American Short Stories 2007," which he edited. It's a resetting of Abelard and Heloise in 1918 during the flu epidemic titled "L. DeBard and Aliette." Aliette is a girl stricken by polio who later goes on to become an Olympic swimmer. Anyway, he loved the story, thank goodness. My editor, Pam Dorman, had worked with him on earlier books, and asked if he would like to see my book. He wrote it up and created amazing buzz right from the beginning. (Ms. Groff's short story is online at The Atlantic.)

WSJ: What was the impact?

Ms. Groff: There is no name in American literature more recognized than Stephen King, so it helped immeasurably. In Sarasota, Fla., we'll be doing a reading together. (The March 27 event will be on the University of South Florida's Sarasota-Manatee campus.)

Read the full interview.

The Page 99 Test: The Monsters of Templeton.

--Marshal Zeringue