WHY: “Virtuoso Karen 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.
“After Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove, one might think that ORANGE WORLD would have a citrusy element, but instead it’s code for all the domestic hazards threatening newborns. Yet household dangers are the least of the fears plaguing Rae during a precarious pregnancy, and late one night her cries for help summon the Devil. He — or, more accurately, it — doesn’t want her soul in exchange for saving her baby; instead, it wants to be breastfed. Their grotesque pact is one of an array of shocking pairings in this ingenious, reality-warping, darkly funny, and exquisitely composed story collection rooted in myth and horror.
“MacArthur Fellow Russell writes with mischievous clarity, wit, and conviction, grounding the most bizarre situations in the ordinary. A young desert traveler is possessed by the furious spirit of a Joshua tree; a teen loves a mummified girl he pulls from a bog. Historical moments seed some tales, including ‘The Prospectors,’ a sublime Depression-era ghost story about two young women grifters; while others leap ahead, such as ‘The Gondoliers,’ in which sisters use echolocation to navigate a submerged Miami.” —Donna Seaman, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“A momentous feat of storytelling in an already illustrious career.
Karen Russell’s third collection beckons like a will-o’-the-wisp across the bog, with eight crisp stories that will leave longtime fans hungry for more.”
—KIRKUS, a starred review
“A wonderfully off-kilter collection.
The inimitable Karen Russell returns with stories that delight in the uncanny, parlaying the deeply fantastical to reflect the basest and most human of our desires.”