The New York Times

By the Book: Lauren Groff

LAUREN GROFF, AUTHOR MOST RECENTLY OF THE STORY COLLECTION ‘FLORIDA,’ SEES MR. ROCHESTER AS A VILLAIN: ‘HE’S A SOCIOPATH WHO KEEPS HIS GRIEVING WIFE LOCKED IN THE ATTIC AND TRIES TO GASLIGHT POOR, PLAIN, ABUSED JANE EYRE THEN MARRY HER BIGAMOUSLY.’

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: I don’t know if I have a nightstand anymore. I do have an avalanche of books with a reading light sticking out of it. From across the room, I can see the autobiography of Lili’uokalani, the Hawaiian queen and songwriter who composed “Aloha ‘Oe,” Sigrid Nunez’s “The Friend” and two novels by Marie-Claire Blais, a Québécoise writer who now lives in Key West: “La Belle Bête” and “Soifs.”

Q: What’s the last great book you read?

A: I just read two great books at the same time: I reread Jean Stafford’s “The Mountain Lion,” which is one of the strangest and angriest novels of the 20th century, and for the first time I

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