This magical collection of stories by the author of the New York Times best seller Swamplandia!—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—showcases Karen Russell's extraordinary gifts. These eight short stories feature such characters as a dejected teenager who discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull's nest and a massage therapist who discovers that she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veteran's lower torso. "Reeling for the Empire" introduces a community of girls held captive in a silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms, spinning delicate threads from their own bellies—and escape by seizing the means of production for their own revolutionary ends. And in the magnificent title story—an unforgettable parable of addiction and appetite, mortal terror and mortal love—two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood.
"Karen Russell has spoiled us. Her work has a velocity and trajectory that is little less than dazzling and a tough, enveloping, exhilarating voice that cannot be equaled."—NYTBR