BookBrowse Reviews St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Stories

by Karen Russell

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell X
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 256 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2007, 256 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A blazingly original debut collection of short stories

St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves consists of ten short stories, unconnected except that they are all set in a surreal version of America and are all inhabited by precociously articulate children who (in Russell's words) are "coming alive to certain adult truths but lack the perspective to make sense of them". For example, in "Haunting Olivia" two boys search for their dead sister who floated out to sea on a giant crab shell; in the title story a pack of girls raised by their werewolf parents are educated into polite society; and in "Ava Wrestles the Alligator" Ava is left in charge of her family's theme park, Swamplandia, its seventy alligators and an older sister possessed nightly by a very randy demon (Russell is currently working on a full length novel about Ava and her family, see sidebar).

All in all, an extraordinary, eccentric, imaginative collection of short stories on the general theme of adolescents and the trials of growing up. As always, you don't have to take BookBrowse's word for it - instead, you can read part of a short story at BookBrowse or, if you'd prefer not to be left hanging in mid-story, you can read a complete short story at the New Yorker.

About the Author: 25-year-old Karen Russell is a native of Miami who now lives in New York City. She has been featured in both The New Yorker’s debut fiction issue and New York Magazine’s list of twenty-five people to watch under the age of twenty-five. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program and is the 2005 recipient of the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award; her fiction has recently appeared in Conjunctions, Granta, Zoetrope, Oxford American, and The New Yorker.


Did you know? The collection's title story was originally going to be "Ava Wrestles the Alligator," but Karen's brother vetoed it on the basis that it sounded like a "Hooked on Phonics" story, so they decided to settle on what would become "St Lucy's Home for Girls Raise by Wolves" as the title story - but first Karen had to decide on a short saint's name (a short name that is, as opposed to a vertically challenged saint). She toyed with St Ulrich (the patron saint of wolves) and St Gertrude, but finally settled on St Lucy - the patron saint of blindness and authors.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in September 2006, and has been updated for the September 2007 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.