I just finished Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff and highly recommend it. Groff’s new bestseller delivers the shock and surprises that critics are raving about. I expected that. What surprised me was the sheer beauty and originality of the language.
Here is one of my favorite passages:
“It would come to her decades later, when she was old, in a porcelain bathtub held aloft on lions’ claws and her own body mercifully submerged, that her life could be drawn in the shape of an X. Her feet duck-splayed and reflected in the water … From a terrifying expanse in childhood, life had focused to a single red-hot point in middle age. From there it exploded outward again.”
You don’t have to know the definition of literary fiction to recognize that this is it. Without saying what it is, Groff is using a metaphor to explain the enormity of that “red-hot point,” making that event positively epic. (I won’t give away what the event is here.) Early in my reading, Roger asked what I thought of Fates and Furies. I told him I was enjoying it but that it was more literary than anything else I’d read in the last few years. And for many of us literary can mean intimidating ... continued