Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories” as Want to Read:
Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,303 ratings  ·  447 reviews
From Lauren Groff, author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling novel The Monsters of Templeton, comes Delicate Edible Birds, one of the most striking short fiction debuts in recent years.
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published January 27th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Delicate Edible Birds, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jisel
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Hannah
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Lauren Groff. And I am trying to be better about reading other books authors I love have written, so I am currently making my way through her back catalogue and I am seriously happy about it. I think I liked this short story collection even more than her new one (which I reviewed earlier this year) and I enjoyed that one immensely. But this collection here just blew me away.

I am in awe of Lauren Groff’s command of language – every single sentence ist perfectly done while not making the wr
...more
Katie
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Lauren Groff's writing, her way with words. I'd say the writing in these stories is perhaps more exciting than the stories themselves. Not that the stories aren't riveting. Or some of them.

They are all fairly long and focus principally on the dilemmas of women. She shows herself to be versatile in terms of setting and period - one story takes place in France in 1940, another during Spanish flu epidemic in the second decade of the 20th century and another in an unnamed country at an unnam
...more
karen
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hey-shorty
i dont usually like stories (i think a few of my reviews start out this way - ha) but i love the way this lady writes. i was hoping after the first story that they would all take place in the same town as monsters of templeton, but no luck. theres one story i definitely need to reread, but i have a feeling i will be picking this up in the future to reread all the way through.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
4.5 stars

A lot of short stories consist of 10-20 pages of foreplay followed by a big cow flop of a denouement, with nary a climax in sight. Some don't even bother with a denouement, they just end abruptly, leaving the reader with the literary equivalent of lover's nuts. I have given up on many and many a short story collection for this reason.

Happily, Lauren Groff is no tease. Her stories are thoroughly satisfying. She takes a little longer, 30-40 pages per story, and develops a complete pictur
...more
Lisa
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
[3.7] I admire Lauren Groff's writing very much (My favorite is Arcadia). The stories in this diverse collection showcase her talent - most quite good, some are spectacular and a few I plodded through. The title story, about a group of war correspondents in German occupied France, is stunning.
Snotchocheez
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 stars

The acquisition of my second-favorite short story collection this year with the word "birds" in the title (!) was a decidedly bittersweet experience. I had already made acquaintance with Ms. Groff's work with her lovely, swirly, slightly out-of-focus novel of communal life in upstate New York, Arcadia, and (despite her eschewing quotation marks, a pet peeve of mine) wanted to read more from her. The very last place I'd expect books with the caliber of Ms. Groff's talent: the Dollar Tree
...more
Teresa
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1/2 stars

Because I enjoyed her first novel The Monsters Of Templeton, I thought I'd like this collection more than I did. While I don't think any of the stories are derivative, they seemed familiar: separate stories reminding me of Alice Munro and Amy Bloom (in theme if not style) and even Julie Otsuka (in style if not theme).

The plots are interesting, some even inventive, though the beauties of language and character development vary from story to story. The ending of the story "Watershe
...more
missy jean
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Fantastic feminist stories.

But listen, I don't think my goodreads reviews of Lauren Groff's books have been quite glowing enough, so let me say something about Delicate Edible Birds and Arcadia and Fates & Furies, all of which I've read in the past few months: These books have been like making a new friend right when I needed one. They've been comfort, warm bowls of soup, cold glasses of water, freshly-laundered blankets, cool breezes. They've commiserated with me on bitter-colored days. Not
...more
Robert Blumenthal
I've been a fan of Lauren Groff after reading Fates and Furies and then seeing her interviewed by Seth Myers on The Late Show. This is her initial collection of short stories, and they are simply dazzling. I would say that I probably have not read a better collection of short stories by anyone at anytime. High praise, obviously, but, IMHO, very well deserved.

These stories all deal with woman characters going through some life altering experience, many involving some sort of sexuality. The charac
...more
Jenna
Rated Three-Point-Five Delicate, Edible Stars! (I rounded up because that is how I roll.)
If there is one recurring theme in this book, and as suggested by its lovely and yet dark title, that theme might be the sexual power/vulnerability of women, especially younger women. The theme is subtle, not executed in an overwrought way, but fortunately its presence is strong enough to help link together the long and quite varied (especially in terms of setting) stories in this collection. This is importa
...more
Cynthia Paschen
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hospice client of mine, Alice, was at the end of her life. Normally chatty, she was quiet. I was holding her hand and asking her if there was anything she wanted me to read to her. She said, "Tell me. The stories. That I. Told you." So of course, I did. Stories of her childhood, her marriage, her son, all of it. She let me know if I missed a detail or got something wrong, shaking her head, no. It's what we are measured by, what we leave behind, our stories. Alice taught me that.

Lauren Groff un
...more
Marina
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes when no novel is keeping my attention I turn to my first love in reading which is the short story. When done right, a short story is magical, better than any full length read. Yet again I found a perfect short story, it's the first one I read called "L.DeBard and Aliette" and it was outstanding, mesmerizing and gave me chills thoughout and lleft me sobbing at the end. I fully recommend this collection to everyone based on this story alone. I hope Emily picks up this collection, even if ...more
Renita D'Silva
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Exceptional writing! Loved every one of these beautiful vignettes into life in different countries in different eras, all exploring ordinary dilemmas during ordinary and extra-ordinary times. I think my absolute favourite of the stories is Majorette, although it is tough to choose between them as each is perfect, exquisite. So beautifully written. I'm in awe of this author's writing, her turn of phrase, her ability to make us care about every one of the characters in each of these distinct, ...more
Shaelin Bishop
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although my favourite Lauren Groff story is one published outside of this collection (Dogs Go Wolf, in the New Yorker), Groff is a writing goddess, her stories are expansive, controlled, and beautiful, and I'm excited for all the new work we can expect from our short fiction queen.
Brian
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A first-rate collection of short fiction; wonderful storytelling, rich characters and taut writing deep with meaning. I am looking forward to reading Groff's novels following this tremendous book of stories.
Fatma
Eh. Groff is a talented writer for sure, but I don't know if short stories will ever completely work for me.

Let's get the obvious out of the way: Lauren Groff can write. Her sentences are elegant and light, evoking feeling and describing setting in a precise and simple way that still manages to be fresh and creative. As for the stories themselves, though, they were, as with pretty much every short story collection I read nowadays, a mixed bag. My favourite was definitely the first story, "Lucky
...more
Angela
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm incredibly picky about what I'll read, but after her short story in The New Yorker I was hooked. It was like love at first sight with this author. Lauren Groff is easily one of the most talented writers of our time and I will read ANYTHING she writes. These stories were INCREDIBLE. I'm making all of my friends read this book immediately so that I'll have people to talk to about it.

I just opened the book so that I could list my favorite stories, but they're all wonderful! I love the way she
...more
Ally Armistead
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Delicate Edible Birds" is one of the most enjoyable short story collections I've read in years. Lyrical, beautiful, haunting, it is one of those books whose language alone makes you slow down and savor every morsel.

The stories themselves are beautiful, too, each following the arc of female protagonists in the twentieth century. The women themselves are the "delicate edible birds" to which the title refers; the medieval ages metaphor of "byrd" (as bride, as maiden) is used to explore the vulner
...more
Rachel León
Lauren Groff is a fantastic writer and I admire her prose. A few of these stories are really great, but others are a bit blah (though beautifully written, of course).
Stephanie
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories were all so different from each other, yet they all seemed to have an underpinning quality of sadness to them. These are among the best short stories I have read in a while.
Sabrina
This is pretty much exactly what I want out of a short story collection.
Alan
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Highly professional, complex stories, like mini novels. You have to admire the breadth of imagination, with stories set around the world (although mainly US) and in different times throughout the 20th century. Character studies with intricate plotting (so much so I got a bit lost at points - but that may have been because the copy I got out of the library was large print, which, oddly, I found difficult to read). Strangely I watched an episode of 'Succession' where a character, showing off, take ...more
Jennifer Spiegel
I really like this book. First, there’s the title. Then, there are the stories. The title is somehow tender and savage at the same time. The stories got me. One after the other.

Before my two or three readers gasp, “But she LIKES everything,” let me tell you: It’s Not True. I’m still trying to figure out the politics, if you will, of the book review. Don’t say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say? Never give a bad review? So what good is a review if it’s no review at all?

I don’t know
...more
Linda Robinson
The war in my head reading this collection was waged between the remarkable prose and its excellent arrangement and the idea of women as delicate edible birds. The words-arranged with architectural artistry as the tree to support the avian protagonists-are marvels; soaring, ephemeral and gently waving in the breeze. But that breeze! Under the words, under the trees, in the dirt and mud is the dichotomy of mother/wife/community member and raving, raw artisan- the wind stirred by this inner strugg ...more
Catherine
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, short-stories
I don't usually read short story collections, but Arcadia was so beautifully written, I decided to give this one a try. It killed me. So beautiful and many of them so sad. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Usually I plow through books, gorging myself, because I'm a book glutton. But with this book, I took my time, savoring one story per night, fully immersing myself in each world Groff created.

My favorites are "L. Debard and Aliette," "Majorette," "Blythe," and the final title story which just gutted me.
Ryann
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These stories positively ache with the difficulties and cruelties that women must face. Groff's work covers years of a character's life with ease, and she has a talent for sweeping, stunning endings that leave you breathless. A beautiful, tender and unflinching collection.
Chase Burke
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I can't remember the last story collection I read that had this kind of propulsion, where the focus of the stories is as much on the characters and their actions as it is on the construction of the sentences. Which is to say, where plot is powerful without overwhelming. Egan's EMERALD CITY, maybe? Daniel Alarcón? Regardless, the majority of the stories here are incredibly readable, paced like thrillers unspooling. And Groff's sentences, of course, dazzle. Some of these work better than others -- ...more
Simone Subliminalpop
Lucky Chow Fun ★★★★
L. Debard e Aliette ★★★★
Majorette ★★
Blythe ★★★
La moglie del dittatore ★★
Spartiacque ★★★★
Sir Fleeting ★★★
Fuga ★★★
Delicati uccelli commestibili ★★★★

Cit.



Superstition Review
“And it is a happy ending, perhaps, in the way that myths and fairy tales have happy endings; only if one forgets the bloody, dark middles…I like to think it’s a happy ending, though it is the middle that haunts me.” – Lucky Chow Fun

After finishing Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds, I realized that all of her narrators don’t know what they want. Often, they never attain it, and they lose a large part of themselves. They seek happiness, clarity, or love. They yearn for all of the right pieces
...more
Ananya Ghosh
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my last book of 2017 and I have to say, it was a great ending.

My love for short stories, the beautiful cover and the interesting name drew me towards it.

The book is a collection of 9 short stories set in different times, in unnamed American cities, towns and villages, and despite the lack of a pinpointed geographical location, they felt extremely rooted. I have not been able to find the thread that binds the stories, and I think there is none, but the stories, individually, were beauti
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff 2 24 Mar 23, 2015 02:13PM  
Author reading! 1 20 Jan 24, 2009 05:07PM  
  • Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
  • The View from the Seventh Layer
  • What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
  • The Dead Fish Museum: Stories
  • This Is Not Your City
  • Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories
  • Nothing Right
  • Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories
  • Women and Other Animals: Stories
  • Vanishing and Other Stories
  • You Think That's Bad
  • Boys and Girls Like You and Me: Stories
  • Death Is Not an Option
  • In the Devil's Territory
  • Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry
  • Girl Trouble: Stories
  • The New York Stories
  • Willful Creatures
2,412 followers
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, N.Y. and grew up one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Hobart, and Five Points as well as in the anthologies Best Amer
...more
“Depressing thought: my friends were the girls I ate lunch with, all buddies from kindergarten who knew one another so well we weren't sure if we even liked one another anymore.” 20 likes
“And she, the new mother of a daughter, felt a fierceness come over her that seized at her heart, that made her feel as if her bones were turned to steel, as if she could turn herself into a weapon to keep this daughter of hers from having to be hurt by the world outside the ring of her arms.” 11 likes
More quotes…