In the collection's marvelous title story, two aging vampires in a sun-drenched Italian lemon grove find their hundred-year marriage tested when one of them develops a fear of flying. In "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979," a dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left in a seagull's nest.
"Proving Up" and "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" - stories of children left to fend for themselves in dire predicaments - find Russell veering into more sinister territory, and ultimately crossing the line into full-scale horror. In "The New Veterans," a massage therapist working with a tattooed war veteran discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the images on his body.
In all, these wondrous new pieces display a young writer of superlative originality and invention coming into the full range and scale of her powers.
There are many reasons to read Vampires in the Lemon Grove - highly imaginative characters, stunning language, penetrating insights into the human condition, and thought-provoking situations – but the primary reason to read this collection is that it is a great read. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
An eight-tale adrenaline-delivery system packed with long-married, problem-beset monsters, abandoned children whose lives are in dire peril, teens with creepy sixth senses, and masseuses with inexplicable healing powers…Darkly inventive, demonically driven narratives set in the author’s inimitable imaginative disturbia.
Karen Russell casts another spell with her otherworldly collection of stories…Is she a Southern Gothicist? A parabolist? A moralist? Do her stories expand upon old histories, or create new, fantastical explanations for them? But the stories, without ever confining themselves to one genre or tradition, speak for themselves.
Starred Review. Russell's great gift...is her ability to create whole landscapes and lifetimes of strangeness within the confines of a short story.
Starred Review. Even more impressive than Russell's critically acclaimed novel.
Her new collection echoes the witty lusciousness of her first novel, Pulitzer finalist Swamplandia! (also a New York Times and a No. 1 Indie Next best seller and a New York Times Book Review Top Ten)... A few stories, like those about abandoned children, lose the wit and lusciousness and go all dark.
Starred Review. Russell returns to the story form with renewed daring, leading us again into uncharted terrain, though as fantastic as the predicaments she imagines are, the emotions couldn’t be truer to life…Mind-blowing, mythic, macabre, hilarious.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Diane S. Vampires in the Lemon Grove Truly imaginative and so very well written. Some though were a little creepy even for me. Loved the first story, which is very unusual for me because even the word vampire will set me running, but in this case it did not. Open minded a bit, gave it... Read More
Although 'grotesque' has become a general adjective for the strange or disturbing, and can be seen in various art forms from literature to architecture, the term also refers to a sub-genre of Southern Gothic literature. This literature utilizes themes of disturbing characters, haunting landscapes, and sinister events (all elements of Gothic literature, from which the Southern Gothic tradition derives) to explore social problems, such as poverty, alienation, and violence. The grotesque takes these elements further to highlight the monstrous, deeply flawed and decayed. The grotesque is usually divided into three categories: doubleness, hybridity, and metamorphosis. Doubleness refers to duplication and can be used to illustrate the presence of apparitions or wraiths. The scarecrow representation of Eric Mutis in "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" is an example of doubleness. Metamorphosis describes a great transformative change, as a can be seen in Kitsune's transformation from woman to silkworm in "Reeling for Empire." Hybridity, or mixing of two disparate things (races, cultures,...
Heartbreakingly beautiful and inescapably human, ordinary and extraordinary people chart their own courses in life. In the aftermath of one tragic afternoon, they are all forced to look at themselves and face up to the observation that the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of seventeenth-century glassmaking, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Newtons scientific innovations, Ghostwalk centers around a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered involving Newtons alchemy.
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Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...