Alienation proves fertile state of mind for Lauren Groff Fiction writer and 2018-19 Radcliffe fellow on the dread, glory, and urgency behind ‘Florida’ Related But like a literary Marie Kondo, Groff is “happy to throw things out,” because she knows her ruthless disposal method works. Writing multiple drafts, abandoning them, and starting over brings her closer to her “Platonic ideal,” she said, and allows her to ultimately turn to the writing she loves best: perfecting her sentences. “That’s the joy … and the beauty for me,” she said. Even the Shakespeare experiment inspired her to find a kind of language for her current prose that feels both reminiscent of the 17th century and “as fresh now as it was then.”Groff’s creative failures are preceded by months or more of meticulous research and followed by feedback from a range of early readers who review the draft that doesn’t land in the trash to help ensure her work remains morally grounded. One of those people is her husband, Clay Kallman, a real estate manager and developer; another is her editor, Sarah McGrath ’96, the vice president and editor-in-chief of Riverhead Books — or, as Groff calls her, “the best human on the planet.” Finding the right editor can bring failure in the form of trial and error, said Groff, but she called connecting with a person who understands who you are, what you want to do, and how to push you “invaluable.”Literary failure came surprisingly early for Groff. As an undergraduate at Amherst College she submitted poems to all the literary magazines on campus and was rejected every time.“Out of desperation and sadness I took a creative-writing class,” she said. In it she found her voice. The syllabus was filled with writers from diverse backgrounds and differing perspectives who were “talking about things I cared about,” said Groff. “The clouds parted … I haven’t looked back. I don’t write poetry anymore, just out of shame.” As any writer will tell you, the process of writing is riddled with anguish, angst, and the ever-popular procrastination.For the best-selling author Lauren Groff, it’s also filled with failure.Groff, the Suzanne Young Murray Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, spoke about her process, read from her current work, and told her listeners on Wednesday that the only way she succeeds with her writing is by failing multiple times. “Failure,” Groff assured her audience, “is your friend.“I know some of you have never heard this before and never failed at anything in your lives,” she said, “but when you are creating a work of art, or trying to create a work of art, what you want to do is fail, I think, because what happens is you come up against the boundaries of what you can and cannot do, the boundaries of what you understand and what you don’t understand. And understanding that, you are either able to skirt it, or to move the borders.“Moving the walls is hard work and it’s beautiful,” she concluded. “It’s difficult, but that is what art is.”For Groff, the work of a novel starts with months of reading, researching, and studying her chosen topic, typically a blend of ideas that have “crashed into each other.” The author said she spends “an absurd amount of time” writing her first draft in longhand, and that her inability to read her own scrawl forces her to scrap it and begin again. Then she repeats the process. Obsessed with William Shakespeare and aware that the Bard “was contemporaneous” with the characters she herself was creating, Groff even wrote an entire draft of her latest book in iambic pentameter. And true to form, she promptly discarded it. As an undergraduate at Amherst College Groff submitted poems to all the literary magazines on campus and was rejected every time. “Out of desperation and sadness I took a creative-writing class.” — Lauren Groff But her thriving career and prolific output are nothing to be ashamed of: Since 2008 Groff has released a book about every three years, sometimes even more frequently. She has published three novels and two short story collections. Among her many honors and recognitions are two National Book Award finalist nominations; shout-outs from President Barack Obama and Amazon, which named her “Fates and Furies” the book of 2015; and praise from a range of critics and reviewers. Earlier this month, her book “Florida”— a series of stories detailing the beauty and brutality of the state she calls home — won the Story Prize for an outstanding work of short fiction.Groff’s varied choice of subjects is as impressive as her productivity. Her works have delved into a girl’s search for her father, a commune in Western New York, the complexities of marriage, the lives of 20th-century American women, and life, as she writes, in “an Eden of dangerous things.” During her Radcliffe Fellowship the author is at work on her fourth novel, “The Vaster Wilds,” inspired in large part by early American women’s captivity narratives, as well as by “Robinson Crusoe,” the classic tale of a man marooned on an island for 28 years, an article she read about the 17th-century Jamestown settlement in Virginia, her interest in survivalist stories, and her frustration with patriarchy following the 2016 presidential election.Groff admits she too struggles when faced with the blank page, and often wonders, “How is it that people come up with ideas for books again?”Her answer involves her own curiosity about the world and the concept of nuclear fusion. “This is the way that I see ideas coming to light in a novel,” said Groff of the combustive reaction that powers the sun. “A single idea for me is inert. It doesn’t actually come to life until two or more other ideas crash into it.”
Update on the latest sports UNDATED (AP) — Eddie Sutton, the Hall of Fame basketball coach who led three teams to the Final Four and was the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA Tournament, died Saturday. He was 84.Sutton’s family says in a statement that he died of natural causes at home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, surrounded by his three sons and their families. Wife Patsy died in 2013.Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on April 3, Sutton was 806-328 in 37 seasons as a Division I head coach — not counting vacated victories or forfeited games — and made it to 25 NCAA Tournaments.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Associated Press In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Canada’s NHL teams have offered season ticket-holders rebate or refund options in acknowledgment that no more 2019-20 regular-season games will be played in front of fans in their respective buildings. The Canadian Press says all seven teams contacted their season ticket bases last week with options and/or deadlines to make a decision.— The Washington Nationals have changed their plans for a virtual World Series ring ceremony after players decided they would rather wait until they could reunite in person to receive their new jewelry. The Nationals previously announced they were going to give out the rings during a show broadcast on television and online. They still plan to unveil the design of the ring Sunday, the anniversary of the date they began their turnaround from a 19-31 record to World Series champs.— The Alaska Baseball League has canceled its summer season, which was scheduled to begin on June 29. The five-team league is made up of college players from mostly the Lower 48 states but also from places as far away as Taiwan. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, travel and housing would have been a logistical challenge during the seven weeks of play.— President Donald Trump played golf Saturday for the first time since declaring the pandemic a national emergency more than two months ago. His return to the course is one more sign that he wants the country back to pre-outbreak times, even as the U.S. death toll from the virus nears 100,000. That’s twice what he once predicted it would be. The outing was Trump’s first to any of the money-making properties he owns since March 8, when he visited his private golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. — The Czech soccer league has restarted under strict conditions. Teplice beat visiting Liberec 2-0 without spectators in the first match in the First League in 73 days. Six rounds of games in the regular season and the playoffs remain in the league, which is scheduled to be completed by July 15.— Jockeys and stall handlers in Britain will be required to wear masks when horse racing hopes to resume next month. The British Horseracing Authority is hoping to get government approval to return on June 1 for the first time since March.— Fired NASCAR star Kyle Larson won the World of Outlaws race Saturday night in Pevley, Missouri, a day after finishing second behind brother-in-law Brad Sweet in the first Sprint Cup event with live fans in the dirt series’ return from a coronavirus pandemic suspension. With attendance limited and other safety measures in place at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway, Larson edged Brent Marks by 0.794 seconds — with Sweet third in the 40-lap feature on the one-third mile oval. Larson has returned to dirt racing after losing his NASCAR Cup ride with Chip Ganassi Racing for using a racial slur during an online race.— The coach of one of Florida’s top high school football programs has been suspended, and an investigation has been launched into whether the team that has won state championships in each of the past three seasons broke policies by practicing during the pandemic. Miami Northwestern High coach Max Edwards has been suspended, pending the result of the investigation, according to a school district official who spoke to The Miami Herald. The district says football practice at this time would be an “unauthorized athletic activity” and parents of players who may have taken part were being interviewed by school officials as part of the investigation. Northwestern won the Class 6A state title in 2017 and 2018 before winning the Class 5A championship last season. The Bulls are a seven-time state champion overall.NFL-SAINTS-MOVES VIENNA (AP) — Olympic ski champion Anna Veith has retired as a racer.Veith twice returned to the top from serious knee injuries but called it a career a year after blowing out her knee for the third time. Veith announced her retirement live on Austrian TV. She says it was not a difficult decision.Veith’s main triumphs were super-G gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and back-to-back overall World Cup titles in 2014 and 2015. She called winning the super-G silver at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics “the most emotional day of my career.”OBIT-EDDIE SUTTONEddie Sutton, Hall of Fame basketball coach, dies at 84 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNBA talking with Disney about resuming seasonUNDATED (AP) — The NBA could become a Mickey Mouse operation, although the idea isn’t Goofy. The league is in talks with The Walt Disney Company on a single-site scenario for a resumption of play in Central Florida in late July. It’s the clearest sign yet that the NBA believes the season can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.The National Basketball Players Association is also part of the talks with Disney.Games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a massive campus on the Disney property near Orlando. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the conversations were still “exploratory,” and that the site would be used for practices and housing as well.ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners.Space won’t be an issue, even if Major League Soccer — which is also in talks to resume its season at Disney — is there at the same time as the NBA. The entire Disney complex is roughly 40 square miles, with nearly 24,000 hotel rooms owned or operated by Disney. May 24, 2020 Saints adding ex-Steelers linebacker Anthony ChickilloUNDATED (AP) — Linebacker Anthony Chickillo has agreed to a contract with the New Orleans Saints after playing his first five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.The former sixth-round pick played in 11 games for the Steelers last season, finishing with 11 tackles and half a sack. Chickillo has played in 65 regular-season games with nine starts while also contributing as a regular on special teams.NFL-LEAF ARRESTRyan Leaf arrested for domestic batter PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested in Southern California on Friday.The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said the second player taken in the 1998 draft was taken into custody on a domestic battery charge in Palm Desert, about 110 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Leaf was being held on $5,000 bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility.Leaf finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 1997 and led Washington State to the Rose Bowl. Drafted by the Chargers, he won just four of 18 games as a starter in three seasons with the team. He was 0-3 with the Dallas Cowboys in 2001 and finished his four-year career with 14 touchdown passes and 36 interceptions.SKI-VEITH RETIRESOlympic ski champion Anna Veith retires — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are getting ready for another made-for-TV match, this time with friends from the NFL. Woods and Peyton Manning take on Mickelson and Tom Brady in what’s being billed as “The Match: Champions for Charity.” It will be the second straight Sunday live golf is on TV. The purpose is to raise $10 million for COVID-19 relief efforts and to provide entertainment.— Eleven of China’s professional soccer teams have been disqualified for failing to pay wages and for five teams closing shop on their own terms. The 11 include Chinese Super League side, Tianjin Tianhai. Low attendance and gaudy contracts for overseas signings were already weighing heavily on the industry, even before the outbreak forced it into total shutdown.— Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that the soccer league in Spain will be allowed to resume June 8. It’s not clear when the first games will be held. The top tier, La Liga, has said it wants to resume play on June 12. There has been no play in the top tier due to the coronavirus crisis since March 12.— A Bournemouth soccer club player in England is one of two positive tests for COVID-19 to emerge from the Premier League’s second round of testing. The club says “medical confidentiality means the player’s name will not be disclosed.” The team says the player will self-isolate for seven days before being tested again at a later date. The league tested 996 players and club staff on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.— Around 13,000 cardboard cutouts helped fill the stands at a key soccer match in Germany Saturday. Fans took pictures at home and paid for a cardboard cutout to be placed in the stands at the Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) game in Dusseldorf, which could help decide Champions League qualification.
Photo © – pixabay Real Madrid and Manchester United will clash in the curtain-raiser of the European club football season this evening – the UEFA Super Cup.Madrid have included former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad for the game in Macedonia.Kick-off is at 7.45pm