Karen Russell

Cindy Seip

A MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, Karen Russell has won twice the National Magazine Award for fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her first novel, The New York Times bestseller Swamplandia! In the collection Orange World and Other Stories (Penguin Random House), Russell’s comedic genius and mesmerizing storytelling talent are on full display. A young man falls in love with a two thousand-year-old girl that he’s extracted from a mass of peat in a Northern European bog. Two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives. A new mother desperate to ensure her infant’s safety agrees to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection. Even in these peculiar settings, Russell captures the exquisite beauty and tenderness of ordinary life. The New York Times Book Review called Russell “[One] of our most original short story writers… […] Russell’s particular gift lies in taking themes that are close to universal and presenting them in stories whose strangeness comes to seem entirely natural, even necessary.”