BookBrowse Reviews Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell

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Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Stories

by Karen Russell

Vampires in the Lemon Grove
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Karen Russell's new short story collection is crafted after the Southern Gothic literature tradition yet her use of comedy and vibrant imagery keep the stories from getting too dark.

Karen Russell's new book, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a collection of short stories, is a well-crafted homage to the grotesque. Russell's earlier book, the novel Swamplandia! about a young girl searching for identity and family in an alligator theme park, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Vampires in the Lemon Grove, comprised of eight stories, further underscores Russell's talent, and ratifies her place on The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list.

Though each of these stories is radically different from the other, the collection is unified through its debt to Southern Gothic literature, particularly the grotesque, a tradition used by Flannery O'Connor and Carson McCullers. Though referred to as "Southern Gothic" because it was famously and most often used by Southern writers, the concept of creating monstrous settings and/or characters to reveal truths about the human condition can ...

Listen to an NPR interview with Karen Russell about Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

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