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Obama’s Favorite Author Won’t Discuss Parenting-Work Balance Until Men Do

Jewish author Lauren Groff — a Guggenheim fellow in fiction and writer of Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2015 — “respectfully” declined to answer a question on balancing motherhood with her career in an interview with the Harvard Gazette.

In the interview, the Gazette inquired: “You are a mother of two. In 10 years you have produced three novels and two short story collections. Can you talk about your process and how you manage work and family?”

“I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done, and know that I feel for everyone in the struggle. But until I see a male writer asked this question, I’m going to respectfully decline to answer it,” Groff responded.

Groff, whose latest short story collection “Florida” came out last month, will be the Suzanne Young Murray Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for 2018-2019, according to the Harvard Gazette.

Her third novel, “Fates and Furies,” was a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the National Book Award for Fiction. In 2017, Granta Magazine named her one of the best American novelists under 40.

In the interview, she discussed her aim to write a “subversive” work.

“One of the jobs of the fiction writer is to feel out the limitations of the systems and institutions in which we live, many of which we take for granted, and to push as hard as we can against them,” Groff said. “Many of these systems and institutions have proven themselves corrupt and in need of subversion from as many angles as we can manage.”

Juliana Kaplan is a news intern at The Forward. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter, @julianamkaplan


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