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Author Lauren Groff Opens Book Store in Florida to Counter Banned Books

By Prudence Hajmeli

If you have spent any time in the literary sphere, you might have heard the name Lauren Groff. Writing New York Times best-selling novels such as Fates and Furies and The Vaster Wildes, Groff has been a prominent name in the literary world for almost two decades. Recently however, her name has been floating across headlines not for writing books, but for selling them. 

Once a New York resident, Groff and her family moved to Gainesville, Florida in 2006. She has  grown fond of the state, admitting in an interview with Teen Vogue that “it’s deeply a part of [her].” So much so that one of her novels dawns the title Florida, stating about that: “In some ways, Florida is a way of saying ‘I love you back’ to this place that has, in some very hot and humid ways, loved me very deeply.” 

It is in the midst of the Florida book ban that Groff has decided to push back. The grand opening of The Lynx bookstore occurred just yesterday, April 29th. The bookstore has gained acclaim mostly for its extensive collection of banned books. 

The name of the store summarizes its story quite perfectly: the lynx, a native animal of Florida, which links the state and its marginalized communities. Amidst the controversy, Groff does expect lashback from far-right groups such as Moms for Liberty. Yet she remains unflinching in the face of challenge: “If Florida goes to such extremes that it will arrest or censure business owners for selling these books, then I am happy to be the face of that, because I have a very loud voice.”


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