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Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories

Karen Russell.
Publisher Vintage  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780307947475
Pages/Publication Date 243/2014
Daedalus Item Code 49092
This item is not available.
(A Boston Globe and Huffington Post Best Book of the Year; an NPR Great Read of 2013; and a Washington Post Notable Book) This is Karen Russell's follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize finalist Swamplandia!a collection of eight stories in which "malice strolls with morality, horror tangos with humor, and the spirits of Franz Kafka and Flannery O'Connor meet with unexpected comity" (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Girls held captive in a Japanese silk factory slowly change into human silkworms, and plot a revolution; a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow that bears an uncanny resemblance to a missing classmate; and in the marvelous title story, a vampire husband and wife try to come to terms with their immortal relationship.

"From apparent influences as disparate as George Saunders, Saki, Stephen King, Carson McCullers and Joy Williams, [Russell] has fashioned a quirky, textured voice that is thoroughly her own: lyrical and funny, fantastical and meditative."NYTimes

"Russell's electrically original short stories propelled her into the literary limelight, then her first novel, Swamplandia!, was chosen as finalist for the Pulitzer and the first Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. In her third book, she returns to the story form with renewed daring, leading us again into uncharted terrain, though as fantastic as the predicaments she imagines are, the emotions couldn't be truer to life as we usually know it. So even though the troubles of a long-married couple are complicated by the fact that they are vampires, and she can transform herself into a bat while he can only pose as 'a small, kindly Italian grandfather,' their catastrophic heartache is all human. The same holds true for the courage and ingenuity Kitsune summons in confronting the horror of her brutal metamorphosis and enslavement in a Japanese silk mill. Ditto for President Rutherford Hayes when he finds himself reincarnated in the body of a horse. From the grueling Food Chain Games in Antarctica to terror on the prairie in the sod-house era, Russell, in the same vein as Jim Shepard and George Saunders though unique in her outlook, continues her mind-blowing, mythic, macabre, hilarious, and tender inquiry into the profound link between humans and animals, and what separates us."Booklist (starred review)

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