Author(s): Lauren Groff
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.
Set on the grounds of a decaying mansion in western New York State in the 1970s an American dream is taking shape
"Powerful and affecting...Captures a five-year-old's consciousness with rare, almost mystical intensity, this is a vivid, original and generous-hearted book." Daily Mail "An exquisite tale of idealism and disintegration...Utterly absorbing." Marie Claire "Richly peopled and ambitious and oh, so lovely, Lauren Groff's Arcadia is one of the most moving and satisfying novels I've read in a long time. It's not possible to write any better without showing off." -- Richard Russo "The raw beauty of Ms. Groff's prose is one of the best things about Arcadia ... stunningly sensual and visceral in describing behaviour straight out of a time capsule... extraordinarily rich imagination, she writes about this life as if she has known it." New York Times "Groff is a sensuous writer." Guardian
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, New York. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. Her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers 2008. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.