Anatomy of a Book Blurb: Lauren Groff

This is part of the Bittersweet Book Launch case study, where Dan Blank and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore share the yearlong process of launching her novel. You can view all posts here.

by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

“In Bittersweet, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore prizes up the veneer of an old, privileged American family to discover depths of intrigue, power, and menace beneath. In its guise as a coming-of-age mystery, the book is both swift and arresting; that the novel also doubles as an insightful meditation on class, aspiration, and longing makes the book reverberate in the reader long past its final line.” —Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia

Lauren is a friend of a friend. He was very generous to put us in touch back in the fall, and she was incredibly generous to email me back such a warm, enthusiastic “I’m really going to try!” right away. I admire Lauren’s writing tremendously, and felt such an affinity for Arcadia, first of all because the hippie world of that place was not wildly dissimilar from my upbringing, and second of all because her book, like Bittersweet, is potently about  place. Arcadia, as she writes it, comes alive like a character, and that’s something I aspired to do with Winloch in Bittersweet.

When I first contacted Lauren back in the early fall, I sent her a bound copy of my book. Then, in mid-November, I sent her a copy of my galley. This give me an opportunity to remind her who I was, and she was, again, absolutely warm (and didn’t need to be reminded who I was, which was blush worthy). Like so many of us, Lauren has a tremendous amount of obligations, and I knew it would be down to the wire if she’d be able to write a blurb or not. An earlier version of myself would have hesitated to nudge her again, but I did just that in the new year, and she replied with a blurb that pointed out something I’m thrilled to have noticed: that underneath the book’s “swift” exterior, it’s a “meditation on class, aspiration, and longing.”

I know Lauren worked hard on this blurb and that it came at a very busy time in her life, and for that I’m very deeply appreciative. She’s a tremendous writer, and I’m so excited to read what she publishes next. But in the interim, I simply want to say thank you. It’s a real form of grace to do something generous for someone you don’t know, especially when you have accomplished so much.