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St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)


St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover


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Courtney Young, May 8, 2012 (view all comments by Courtney Young)
I'm a huge fan of short stories, in particular those that explore bold, fabulous, and spectacular plots and characters. So for me, Karen Russell's first collection of short stories is a treat. Each of the short stories in this collection is an excellent pairing of entertaining and well crafted prose. An added bonus is the story "Ava Wrestles the Alligator" which eventually evolved into her wonderful novel Swamplandia! This is definitely a wonderfully inventive collection and I highly recommend it!
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
ravenklau, October 30, 2011 (view all comments by ravenklau)
I loved this book! It is unusual, creepy, exciting, and beautiful. Tinted with humour, sadness, and a little bit of thriller-ness, told in the eyes of unusual children characters,this book is a must read!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Danielle M, April 8, 2011 (view all comments by Danielle M)
Weird, wild, and wooly is the best way to describe the writing of the brilliant Karen Russell. After tearing through Russell’s novel “Swamplandia!” I was anxious for more and jumped right into this collection of short stories, which read more like modern day fairy tales, complete with wolves, alligator wrestlers, a minotaur, and distraught children aplenty. But, like in all great fairy tales, the true stories lie beneath the fairy dust and it is here where Russell’s talent truly shines as she pulls us into the darkly beautiful worlds that she’s created, whispering secrets into our ears, secrets of longing and loss, comfort and fear, and all the dark, quiet things that lurk in each of us, whether man or beast or minotaur.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
rastislaox, July 31, 2008 (view all comments by rastislaox)
How being a tremendous novell with European even Nor4se elements, a grimoire of modern culturetaste but
a bit sour with such a way of fantasy. Great novell.
Takes us back into swamps, horror stories and so good
for readingA
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(12 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
Edward, February 17, 2008 (view all comments by Edward)
Please enter the brave collection of dark and witty Floridian short stories. A brave and noble debut by a highly touted new-comer. Meet Ms. Russell's zany world of strange bedfellows and you will encompass strangeness extra-ordinary!
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(21 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Russell, Karen
Vintage Books USA
Karen Russell
Short Stories (single author)
Short stories
Everglades (Fla.)
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Stories (single author)
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.2 x .73 in .625 lb

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Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » New Yorker 20 under 40
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 256 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307276674 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If Flannery O'Connor had somehow become enamored of magical realism, she might have created a short story collection such as this. Russell is evidently entranced by youth, and her various and sundry child characters are brought vividly to life in environments where seemingly anything can happen. From ghostly underwater caves to the heights of snow-capped peaks, these stories rekindle that sense of discovery and mystery that is part and parcel to our own childhood. An immensely enjoyable read for young and old alike.

"Staff Pick" by ,

I was thrilled and enamored with the pinprick subtlety of all the goodness chocked into these short stories. I read a few when they first appeared in the New Yorker, and Russell's so good that I didn't immediately catch on that some of her plot elements actually were not to be found on God's green earth (like the gigantic crab shells that a pair of young brothers rent to use as sand dune toboggans, or the slightly Uzbekistani tribe that sings the avalanche down every year). The title story, in particular, is full of brilliant ideas put into a familiar structure that manages to be the best of both worlds, reading like a historical rendering of cultural acclimations that never were. For readers who positively adore Kelly Link and Jonathan Lethem, but sometimes get the yearning to delve into a collection just a smidge less on the fantastical side, I recommend St. Lucy's Home.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This bizarre, mesmerizing debut collection got a lot of attention when it came out, for good reason. Russell has a gift for telling intricate, fantastical tales with great emotional depth. To read one of the stories in St. Lucy's is to step into a new world — a world you'll long to revisit again and again.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A series of upbeat, sentimental fables, the 10 stories of Russell's debut are set in an enchanted version of North America and narrated by articulate, emotionally precocious children from dysfunctional households. Each merges the satirical spirit of George Saunders with the sophisticated whimsy of recent animated Hollywood film. In 'Ava Wrestles the Alligator,' a motherless girl, 'staying in Grandpa Sawtooth's old house until our father, Chief Bigtree, gets back from the Mainland,' struggles to understand her big sister's blooming sexuality, which seems to grow scaly and incarnate. Timothy Sparrow and Waldo Swallow Heartland, the two brothers of 'Haunting Olivia,' search for their sister's ghost near Gannon's Boat Graveyard using a pair of magic swimming goggles. In the title story, the human daughters of werewolves are socialized into polite society. Russell has powers of description and mimicry reminiscent of Jonathan Safron Foer ('My father, the Minotaur, is more obdurate than any man,' begins 'Children's Reminiscences of the Westward Migration'), and her macabre fantasies structurally evoke great Southern writers like Flannery O'Connor. If, at 24, Russell hasn't quite found a theme beyond growing up is hard to do (especially if you're a wolf girl), her assorted siblings are rendered with winning flair as they gambol, perilously and charmingly, toward adulthood. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Hey smartie, this is for your literary side! Edgy-lit lovers will adore this debut short-story collection set in imaginative venues like icebergs."
"Review" by , "Originality, surrealism and can sense Russell's enthusiasm and playfulness, both of which she has in spades."
"Review" by , "[St. Lucy's] is in multifarious ways a marvelous book in the tradition of George Saunders and Katherine Dunn."
"Review" by , "In spare but evocative prose, the 25-year-old conjures a weird world of young misfits and ghosts in the Everglades. Girls are swept off to sea in giant crab shells and fall in love with spirits; boys have Minotaurs for fathers and incurable dream disorders that cause them to live through humanity's greatest tragedies night after night."
"Review" by , "Karen Russell's startlingly original collection...features graceful and seductive prose that transports the reader into surreal and yet utterly plausible realms."
"Review" by , "With this weird, wondrous debut, 25-year-old Russell blows up the aphorism 'Age equals experience.' She also suggests 'Write what you know' is similarly useless, unless she's a girl living on a Florida farm, two brothers who dive for the ghost of their dead sister, and children at a sleep-disorder camp. These stories are part Flannery O'Connor, part Gabriel García Márquez, and entirely her own."
"Review" by , "Russell's first story collection is a thing of beauty....This startlingly original set if stories, which feels as though it might have been written by Lemony Snicket and Margaret Atwood, is not to be missed, and author Russell, whose fiction debuted in The New Yorker and who was chosen by New York magazine as one of '25 People to Watch Under 25,' is poised to become a literary powerhouse."
"Review" by , "Karen Russell's fresh and original voice makes this a stunning collection to savor."
"Review" by , "Russell makes her sparkling debut with these 10 curious, sophisticated and whimsical stories."
"Review" by , "She's the real deal."
"Review" by , "This book is a miracle. Karen Russell is a literary mystic, channeling spectral tales that surge with feeling. A devastatingly beautiful debut by a powerful new writer."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Endlessly inventive, over-the-top, over-the-edge stories, all delivered in the most confident, exquisitely rambunctious manner. Fabulous fun."
"Review" by , "Unforgettable, gorgeously imaginative tales....25-year-old wunderkind Karen Russell — whose house-afire prose has already lit up the pages of Granta and The New Yorker — proves herself a mythologist of the darkest and most disturbing sort."
"Synopsis" by , A San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year

In these ten glittering stories, debut author Karen Russell takes us to the ghostly and magical swamps of the Florida Everglades. Here wolf-like girls are reformed by nuns, a family makes their living wrestling alligators in a theme park, and little girls sail away on crab shells. Filled with stunning inventiveness and heart, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves introduces a radiant new writer.

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