I’m a sucker for eccentric, edgy titles. That whole saying “never judge a book by its cover” is a poor principle to live by. If it wasn’t for choosing volumes based on a shallow and misguided notion, then I would not have been bedazzled by the content behind such gallant names as: Fear and Trembling, Jesus and Anarchy, Ethics of Ambiguity, Existentialism is a Humanism, Screwtape Letters, Ecce Home, and the scroll rolls on. Naturally, when I saw that an author of a book entitled Delicate Edible Birds would be doing a reading at the Jung Center on October 3rd, I thought, “Yes, I like eating vulnerable birds, too, my future friend.”
Lauren Groff, short story extraordinaire, and I’m assuming part time canary consumer, will be the mentioned author gracing Houston, as we start what will hopefully be a relieving October. Lauren, an MFA graduate of Madison-Wisconsin University, is author of three major works of fiction: Monsters of Templeton, Delicate Edible Birds, and her latest product of 2012, Arcadia.
Monsters of Templeton traces the journey of a 28-year-old woman in Templeton, New York who, in light of a monster emerging from Lake Glimmerglass, is inspired to research her family’s origin. As Groff’s character follows the bread crumbs, the novel is narrated in retrospect, being told from the voices of Templeton’s deceased citizens. Monsters of Templeton was on the New York Times Bestseller list, as well as Editor’s Choice Pick in 2008.
I was slightly disappointed to discover that Delicate Edible Birds has actually nothing to do with eating delicate birds. Better yet, this anthology of short stories tells of nine women of the 20th century. From unfaithful follies on an Argentinian honeymoon to abuse in a Nazi occupied French farm house, Delicate Edible Birds is far from lacking the gripping content several readers are interested in. Various stories from Delicate Edible Birds have received recognition in several publications including: The Pushcart Prize XXXII, The Best American Short Stories 2007, Best New American Voices, and more.
Lauren’s latest book, Arcadia, will be the source of her reading on the 3rd. Arcadia follows a large group of young hippies in the 1960’s as they set off to establish a community separated from society, located in rural New York. The project eventually becomes an entity much grander than what they anticipated. Built on the property of an abandoned manor known as the Arcadian House, the story of the commune is narrated by a son born to the architects of the Arcadia collective. Arcadia’s focal character becomes a voice reflecting on the consequences and tragedy of his parents failed aspiration to achieve shared harmony. Lauren’s latest book has earned merit as an “unforgettable read” and “ambrosia for book clubs.”
All three of Lauren’s major works will be available for purchase on October 3rd at the Jung Center, located at 5200 Montrose Boulevard, 77006. The event starts at 7:30, with a 30 minute reading of Arcadia followed by a Q and A session.
If you need to contact Jung Center for any additional information you can reach them at 713-524-8253.