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Extended Audio Sample Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories Audiobook, by Lauren Groff Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,053 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lauren Groff Narrator: Susan Ericksen Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781400180707
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Lauren Groff presents nine stories of astonishing insight and variety, each revealing a resonant drama within the life of a twentieth-century American woman. In "Sir Fleeting," a Midwestern farm girl on her honeymoon in Argentina falls into lifelong lust for a French playboy. In "Blythe," an attorney who has become a stay-at-home mother takes a night class in poetry and meets another full-time mother, one whose charismatic brilliance changes everything. In "The Wife of the Dictator," that eponymous wife ("brought back...from [the dictator's] last visit to America") grows more desperately, menacingly isolated every day. In "Delicate Edible Birds," a group of war correspondents—a lone, high-spirited woman among them—falls prey to a brutal farmer while fleeing Nazis in the French countryside. And in "Lucky Chow Fun," Groff returns to Templeton, the setting of her first book, for revelations about the darkness within even that idyllic small town. In some of these stories, enormous changes happen in an instant. In others, transformations occur across a lifetime—or several lifetimes. Throughout the collection, Groff displays particular and vivid preoccupations. Crime is a motif—sex crimes, a possible murder, crimes of the heart. Love troubles occur in every story—love in alcoholism, in adultery, in a flood, even in the great flu epidemic of 1918. Some of the love has depths that are understood too late; some of the love is shallow and also understood too late. And mastery is a theme—Groff's women swim and twirl batons, become poets, or try and try again to achieve the inner strength to exercise personal freedom. Overall, these stories announce a notable new literary master. Dazzlingly original and confident, Delicate Edible Birds will further Groff's growing reputation as one of the foremost talents of her generation. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Groff's skill makes commonplace occurrences seem compelling. Kirkus
  • “Groff’s prose is lovely, and when she nails a story—like the title story about journalists fleeing Nazi-occupied Paris—the results are sublime.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Vivid tales from a gifted young writer who continues to surprise.”

    Booklist

  • “Groff’s skill makes commonplace occurrences seem compelling.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irmak Ertuna-howison | 2/19/2014

    " a great collection of (unminimalist) stories that contain whole lives and generations while touching on the different facets of womanhood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Whaley | 2/17/2014

    " This joins my other favorite short stories book "The Interpreter of Maladies" that I read this year. Beautifully written, totally memorable plots and settings, and wonderfully developed, complicated, layered female characters. I hadn't heard of Groff before just randomly picking this book up in the library, but I should have. Outstanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/11/2014

    " The short story format suits Groff well. I found her debut, The Monsters of Templeton, to be long and rambly throughout the book until the very end in which she quickly wrapped everything up without a satisfactory means of getting there. I had no such problems with Delicate Edible Birds. Nearly every story was unique and engaging. I wasn't confused or left with the feeling that there should have been more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/9/2014

    " A nice collection of short stories shows Groff really stretching and sometimes her aim exceeds her grasp. the collection is front-loaded with the best work, though even the failures have something to recommend them. We get the stories of women across the twentieth century, different situations and different obstacles, told in different points-of-view and with markedly different tones. I liked this better than better-regarded short story collections by Alice Munro or Dan Chaon, both for the variety of the stories and the empathy she extracts for her characters. I will definitely chase down Groff's other work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimkarnitz | 2/4/2014

    " Superb book of short stories . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/2/2014

    " Read this a couple years ago and just tore through it again. I simply love her prose. "Quirky" doesn't cut it. The title story stays with me.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/30/2014

    " I'm not a huge short story fan, but this collection was so intense and emoationally written that each story felt like a whole book. I highly recommend this book, but also Lauren Groff's novel The Monsters of Templeton, which was one of my favorite books of the past few years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 1/20/2014

    " Even those of you who do not like short stories will like this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 1/20/2014

    " Definitely worth reading. I loved having a number of different stories to read, and jump from one to the next, but also see parallels between each. I believe this books expresses Groff's excellent writing skills. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/16/2013

    " I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/2/2013

    " Great collection of short stories- some shine more than others. The title story is provocative and what a fantastic metaphor the bird in question is. Women make believable yet unwise decisions in many of these stories. Many of them have demons in their lives that they fail to overcome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Moira | 11/23/2013

    " A very mixed bag. The Dictator's Wife and Sir Fleeting killed me, but other stories left me feeling cold, even a bit annoyed by an inelegant or obvious plot twist or phrase. But let me not be too harsh; I think Lauren Groff is great, and I still think about The Monsters of Templeton with affection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chamie | 11/19/2013

    " I loved loved loved this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney | 11/10/2013

    " 5/26 About halfway through the stories. LOVE them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 9/29/2012

    " While these stories are well written and most are quite interesting, I am just not a huge fan of short stories, I prefer I nice big novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 7/15/2012

    " I read this like I read most books of short stories--if the story doesn't catch my attention, I move on after about 2 pages. That didn't happen very often in this book. Most of the stories were moving and a few were truly riveting. Good writing and interesting characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marcy vernier | 3/27/2012

    " If I had one tenth the talent that Groff has -- I would consider myself a genius and be loved by many. Her writing is so incredible that I savored each and every one of these stories. I love you, Lauren Groff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/22/2012

    " Considering that I struggle with short stories, these were really fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taylor | 12/3/2011

    " SO GOOD. There were such a wide range of kinds of stories in this book, and it felt eclectic but also coherent and consistent. I'm not sure I can even talk about how awesome this collection was. Just read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 9/5/2011

    " Haven't read many short stories in recent years though it was my thing in my early 20s. This was a great re-entry. 'Fugue' and 'Watershed' were particularly good. A few of the stories aren't that great, but the ones that are make up for it. Recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M | 9/5/2011

    " Groff is such an elegant and beautiful writer that even when these stories don't work, they are still lovely. And when they do work, they are amazing. I'm so glad I found this little collection. A lot of the characters and stories stayed with me afterward; really enjoyed these. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 8/23/2011

    " One of the best collections of short stories I've read in a long time. Each story is unique, which a remarkable achievement. Ms. Groff keeps up the same level of quality that she exhibited in The Monsters of Templeton. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moishy | 5/15/2011

    " one of the best collections of short story's i have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 3/31/2011

    " I enjoyed this author's first book The Monsters of Templeton, so picked this one up. I loved these stories. Sometimes, short stories don't work for me, but I enjoyed all the stories in this book. If you haven't discovered Lauren Groff yet, read her books!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 3/9/2011

    " A solid collection of short stories, but nothing that really rocked my world. I can see how Lauren Groff's writing and themes could easily rock someone else's world though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/1/2011

    " Short story collection about strong women. Liked all but the last two stories, hard to follow.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/5/2011

    " Lauren Groff, I wish I could write like you!

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 12/11/2010

    " Definitely worth reading. I loved having a number of different stories to read, and jump from one to the next, but also see parallels between each. I believe this books expresses Groff's excellent writing skills. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 10/17/2010

    " really enjoyed this. i get frustrated reading short stories (b/c if they're GOOD, i want them to be longer!) and these were the perfect length, well-developed, too a few sittings to read each.... highly recommend this collection.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taryn | 8/14/2010

    " I loved the completely quirky & weirdly courageous women in these stories. I also loved the way swimming and moustaches popped up in nearly every one. The title story knocked my socks off. Excelente! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 7/10/2010

    " Loved 2. Really liked the rest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayleigh | 6/11/2010

    " An amazing collection of short stories! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 6/10/2010

    " I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. "

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About the Author
Author Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is a New York Times bestselling novelist and acclaimed short story writer. She was born in Cooperstown, NY and received her MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her short stories have appeared in a number of prestigious publications and journals, including the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and Best New American Voices 2008. She was awarded the Axton Fellowship at the University of Louisville, and her first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers; it was also a New York Times bestseller. Groff currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two sons.

About the Narrator

Susan Ericksen is an actor and voice-over artist. She has been awarded twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award. As an actor and director, she has worked in theaters throughout the country.