US author Lauren Groff is the latest America author to open their own bookshop. Together with her husband Clay Kallman they have opened The Lynx in Gainesville Florida and told Shelf Awareness that the shop will specialise in Floridas literary history and those titles that have been the subject of bans.
Groff told Shelf Awareness: We have such a rich and varied literary history that no one knows about [and now that Florida’s] authoritarian government has education in a choke hold, there is an acute need to promote and celebrate the work of LGBTQI authors as well as Black, brown, and indigenous authors. Through the bookstore, she and Kallman want to help those ideas take flight at a time when many in the state are trying actively to suppress them.
Groff sees her role at the store as being similar to that of fellow author Ann Patchett at Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tennessee. She says: Everyone’s vision is to be Ann Patchett.
Besides Patchett, other authors who own or co-own bookstores include Louise Erdrich, Jeff Kinney, Judy Blume, Emma Straub, Kelly Link, Alex George, Jenny Lawson, and George R.R. Martin, among others. The writer and broadcaster Garrison Keillor opened Common Good Books in Minneapolis/St Paul in 2013 but recently sold the store, proving that a well-known name doesnt necessarily translate into sales. That said, the trend on both sides of the Atlantic is good for independent bookstores.