A dazzling debut, a blazingly original voice: the ten stories in St. Lucys Home for Girls Raised by Wolves introduce a radiant new talent.
In the collections title story, a pack of girls raised by wolves are painstakingly reeducated by nuns. In Haunting Olivia, two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab. In Z.Z.s Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers, a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to a summer camp for troubled sleepers (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Sleep Apneics; Cabin 3, Somnambulists . . . ). And Ava Wrestles the Alligator introduces the remarkable Bigtree Wrestling DynastyGrandpa Sawtooth, Chief Bigtree, and twelve-year-old Avaproprietors of Swamplandia!, the islands #1 Gator Theme Park and Café. Ava is still mourning her mother when her father disappears, his final words to her the swamp maxim Feed the gators, dont talk to strangers. Left to look after seventy incubating alligators and an older sister who may or may not be having sex with a succubus, Ava meets the Bird Man, and learns that when youre a kid its often hard to tell the innocuous secrets from the ones that will kill you if you keep them.
Russells stories are beautifully written and exuberantly imagined, but it is the emotional precision behind their wondrous surfaces that makes them unforgettable. Magically, from the spiritual wilderness and ghostly swamps of the Florida Everglades, against a backdrop of ancient lizards and disconcertingly lush plant lifein an idiom that is as arrestingly lovely as it is surrealKaren Russell shows us who we are and how we live.
With this weird, wondrous debut, 25–year–old Russell blows up the aphorism ‘Age equals experience.’
Time Out (Chicago)
Most writers her age haven’t yet matched Russell’s chief achievement: honing a voice so singular and assured that you’d willingly follow it into dark, lawless territory. Which, as it happens, is exactly where it leads us.
Originality, surrealism and eccentricity . . . one can sense Russell’s enthusiasm and playfulness, both of which she has in spades.
Russell hasn't quite found a theme beyond growing up is hard to do ...[but] her assorted siblings are rendered with winning flair as they gambol, perilously and charmingly, toward adulthood.
Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook
Hallelujah! Karen Russell’s work sweeps the ground from beneath your feet and replaces it with something new and wondrous, part Florida swampland, part holy water. A confident, auspicious, unforgettable debut.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cariola Unique I have mixed feelings about Russell's collection. "Weird" might be a better word than "unique," and at times I felt like she was being weird for weirdness sake. Don't get me wrong--weird can be great, but I like it to have some meaning or... Read More
How does Russel feel to be listed as
one of 25 Under 25 to Watch in New York
Magazine? "I am just bursting with joy and
gratitude, of the slack-jawed, awestruck
variety. This book is a miracle to meits
a miracle that it has an ISBN number and
a cover, that it exists as a book at all
when for so long it was just an ungainly
word file on my computer. At this time
last year, I would have been happy to
place a story with The Journal of
Spotted Dogs. To have found a home
for the collection, its the great
miracle of my life to date. My dream
really did come true, which I think is a
rare and wonderful thing to get to say
..... When I was at the New York
magazine photo shoot, I was sitting next
to fourteen year olds who had starred in
Broadway musicals and invented and
patented molecules. I was really...
A heartwarming and hugely appealing debut collection that explores the way our choices and relationships are shaped by the menace and beauty of the natural world.
These are 2 of the 10 readalike suggestions for St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...