St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Author: Karen Russell Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 2006 I read it: September 2015 Having read the rest of Russell’s books and finally circled back to her first story collection, it’s fun to see a couple seeds being planted. The most obvious is the lead story, “Ava Wrestles the Alligator,” which was expanded upon to…

Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Author: Karen Russell Type: Fiction, short stories Full title: Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories Published: 2013 I read it: August 2014 I was struck by the title story when I first read it in one of the Best American Short Stories collections, and always wanted to return to the warm Italian glow…

Sleep Donation

Author: Karen Russell Type: Fiction, novella (Kindle single) Published: 2014 I read it: April 2014 I was keyed in to the plot and tone of the book: having a nine month-old had already forced my body to get used to less sleep, but the day I started this novella we brought him on a plane…

Swamplandia!

Author: Karen Russell Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2011 I read it: February 2012 I made it a point to read this book based solely on the strength of Russell’s short story “Vampires in the Lemon Grove.” The novel had the tone and flow I expected and I made sure to read it at the proper…