(Little) Bit is the first child born to the newly founded agrarian
commune, nurtured and guided by all. His world is filled with nature,
goodwill, hard work and good times.
As with most grand social experiments, the politics and practicality of
this live style versus outside forces eventually destroy the community
and Bit's sheltered life.
Grown up Bit finds himself raising his daughter alone and looking for guidance from his elders.
Geoff's writing style gracefully evokes the sensitivity and compassion that is Bit's character. Enchanting.
March 2012 Indie Next List
“I am left almost speechless by the beauty and raw reality of this book. The story is centered around a boy named Bit -- nicknamed for his small size. Groff splits the narrative into two parts: in the first, we watch Bit grow up in a utopian wooded commune in the early '70s; in the next part, Bit is an adult, a father raising his own child in New York City. Grofff's wonderful use of language brings us into Bit's world -- the intimacy, wonder, confusion, worry, and unwavering hope he holds as a child and the struggle, shattering grief, and quiet determined bravery he develops as a man. Stunning!”
— Susan McCloskey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Timeless and vast... The raw beauty of Ms. Groff's prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book's only kind of splendor."---Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Even the most incidental details vibrate with life Arcadia wends a harrowing path back to a fragile, lovely place you can believe in."---Ron Charles, The Washington Post
In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, the charismatic leader; his wife, Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He falls in love with Helle, Handy's lovely, troubled daughter. And eventually he must face the world beyond Arcadia.
In Arcadia, Groff displays her literary gifts to stunning effect.
"It's not possible to write any better without showing off."---Richard Russo, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls
About the Author
Lauren Groff is the author of The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers; Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of short stories; and Fates and Furies, a National Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Tin House, One Story, McSweeney's, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and three editions of The Best American Short Stories. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and two sons.