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A Child’s Garden of Fabulism

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

Reviewed by Alexis Smith

"Someday, in the distant future (should the human race survive), parents will settle down in the evenings to read their children stories that are being written now, just as we might settle down to read Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, or the Greek myths, or Native American legends. Karen Russell's debut collection of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, reads like the old stories of the future might: stylistically contemporary, but eerily timeless; stories so haunting, magical, and lyrical they will be read over and over again, for the pure joy of the tale." Read the entire Powells.com review.

6 Responses to "A Child’s Garden of Fabulism"

    dot dot dot September 9th, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    It's funny to me that several of these stories are instantly recognizable when described, as in "Oh, yeah, I remember that one, I sort of liked it..", but at the same time, I now feel a little foolish for having just blindly accepted some of the details she had included. The giant crab shells, for one. I remember it giving me a moment's hesitation when I originally came across it, but I shelved it away as being some sort of regional novelty device I hadn't heard of before. That said, since I am told all of those assorted bits of lightly fabulous reading came from the same author, I am greatly enthused to read the collection, and perhaps that title story most of all.

    Patti September 9th, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    It is refreshing to read a review that notices the writer's talent and can express the details of this talent clearly. This allows book buyers to identify the work we should enjoy most. Although I have just begun reading my copy of this book, I agree with the comments in this review and appreciate the value it places on this wonderful book.

    Eunice Riemer September 11th, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    The reviewer was ecstatic about what seems to me to be a bunch of silly pseudo-fairy tales. I have lived long enough to see literary fads come and go. This one is an adolescent revolt against fiction that deals with real problems.

    Mariana September 12th, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Thanks for writing this interesting review, it made me want to read the book.

    Hurley Hugo September 12th, 2006 at 8:57 am

    I totally love cranky old lit-snobs as much as the next guy, but seriously "a bunch of silly pseudo-fairy tales"? You haven't even read the things.

    And what are "real problems," exactly? You mean the kind where we're all upper-class middle-aged white professors having affairs with our students and struggling to deal with our complacency? 'Cause fairy tales are more real to me than that.

    In the future, you might want to actually read something before formulating an opinion on it. Just a thought. And speaking of fads: Eunice, kiss my grits.

    Alexis September 12th, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    I'm even more ecstatic that people actually read my reviews! Thanks for the feedback folks!

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