Karen Russell has always had a knack for creating intricate, somewhat fantastic scenarios grounded by a seasoned respect for her characters and the worlds they occupy. Each story in her new collection showcases these talents spectacularly. Darkly funny and quietly moving, Orange World is as rewarding as it is fun to read. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the Pulitzer finalist and universally beloved author of the New York Times best sellers Swamplandia and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a stunning new collection of short fiction that showcases her extraordinary gifts of language and imagination
These nine exuberant, arrestingly vivid, emotionally precise stories present one of America's most gifted young writers at the top of her form.
In "Bog Girl," a young man falls in love with a two-thousand-year-old girl that he's extracted from a mass of peat in a Floridian bog. In "The Bad Graft," a couple on a road trip stop in Joshua Tree National Park, where the spirit of a giant tree accidentally infects the young woman, their fates becoming permanently entangled. In the brilliant, hilarious "Orange World," a new mother desperate to ensure her daughter's health strikes a diabolical deal — she agrees to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection. In "The Prospectors," two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives.
Survival stories, love stories, stories of surreal and magnificent transformation--this is haunting and beautiful work from a true modern master.
"Eight crisp stories that will leave longtime fans hungry for more. Since her debut more than a decade ago, Russell has exhibited a commitment to turning recognizable worlds on their heads in prose so rich that sentences almost burst at the seams. Her third collection is no exception, and its subjects — forgotten pockets of violent American history, climate-related apocalypse, the trials of motherhood — feel fresh and urgent in her care…A momentous feat of storytelling in an already illustrious career." Kirkus (Starred Review)
"Virtuoso Russell, gifted with acute insights, compassion, and a daring, free-diving imagination, explores the bewitching and bewildering dynamic between 'the voracious appetite of nature and its yawning indifference' and humankind’s relentless profligacy and obliviousness." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Amidst the leading pack of talents Karen Russell writes the most like she’s on fire, as in: this close to revelations. Orange World is her best collection yet. Her imagination’s baroque syntax has been planed down to the absolute essentials, allowing the power of her vision to speak for itself…This is prophetic work written with clarifying fury." John Freeman, Lit Hub
"A feast of invention and a fun house of surprising wisdom, Orange World contains a ghost-ship lodge, tourist trade in a post-apocalyptic drowned city, a tornado farm, a local succubus. Karen Russell moves from the farcical to the forbidden with tender conviction. Don’t miss this book of marvels!" Louise Erdrich
About the Author
KAREN RUSSELL won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia! (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, the “5 under 35” prize from the National Book Foundation, the NYPL Young Lions Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and is a former fellow of the Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin. She currently holds the Endowed Chair at Texas State University’s MFA program, and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son.