Knopf, 2020. Paperback copy.
Karen Russell’s comedic genius and mesmerizing talent for creating outlandish predicaments that uncannily mirror our inner lives is on full display in these eight exuberant, arrestingly vivid, unforgettable stories.
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 Northern European bog. In “The Prospectors,” two opportunistic young women fleeing the Great Depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives. And in the brilliant, hilarious title story, a new mother desperate to ensure her infant’s safety strikes a diabolical deal, agreeing to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection.
The landscape in which these stories unfold is a feral, slippery, purgatorial space, bracketed by the void–yet within it Russell captures the exquisite beauty and tenderness of ordinary life. Orange World is a miracle of storytelling from a true modern master.
Orange World by Karen Russell
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