(0)
 
Vampires in the Lemon Grove
by Karen Russell

Overview -

From the author of the "New York Times" best seller "Swamplandia "--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--a magical new collection of stories that showcases Karen Russell's gifts at their inimitable best.
A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull's nest.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • Retail Price: $24.95
  • $19.18

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock.

FREE Express Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!
 
 
New & Used Marketplace 53 copies from $9.66
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
 
 
 
Overview

From the author of the "New York Times" best seller "Swamplandia "--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize--a magical new collection of stories that showcases Karen Russell's gifts at their inimitable best.
A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull's nest. 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. A massage therapist discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veteran's lower torso. When a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow bearing an uncanny resemblance to the missing classmate they used to torment, an ordinary tale of high school bullying becomes a sinister fantasy of guilt and atonement. In a family's disastrous quest for land in the American West, the monster is the human hunger for acquisition, and the victim is all we hold dear. And in the collection's marvelous 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 is one of today's most celebrated and vital writers--honored in "The""New Yorker"'s list of the twenty best writers under the age of forty, Granta's Best of Young American Novelists, and the National Book Foundation's five best writers under the age of thirty-five. Her wondrous new work displays a young writer of superlative originality and invention coming into the full range and scale of her powers.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307957238
  • ISBN-10: 0307957233
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: February 2013
  • Page Count: 243


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Humorous
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-10-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

There are only eight stories in Russell’s new collection, but as readers of Swamplandia! know, Russell doesn’t work small. She’s a world builder, and the stranger the better. Not that she writes fantasy, exactly: the worlds she creates live within the one we know—but sometimes they operate by different rules. Take “The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979”: Nal, its main character, is your basic dejected 14-year-old boy whose brother gets the girls and whose mother has more or less given up; “Nal was a virgin. He kicked at a wet clump of sand until it exploded.” But in this beach town, the seagulls have secrets. Or consider “The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis,” a story of high school bullying that extends a familiar plot line in eerie and convincing ways. Similarly, “The New Veterans,” in which a middle-aged masseuse works on a young Iraq War vet haunted by his buddy’s death, blurs horror, the genre, with the horror of daily life. Is the masseuse losing her mind? Is the vet? What about those ignoring the war entirely? Perhaps the answers lie in the veteran’s muddy, whole-back tattoo: “Light hops the fence of its design. So many colors go waterfalling down the man’s spine that, at first glance, she can’t make any sense of the picture.” While this story runs a little long, and the otherwise excellent “Proving Up” doesn’t need its final gothic touch, Russell’s great gift—along with her antic imagination—who else would give us a barn full of ex-presidents reincarnated as horses?—is her ability to create whole landscapes and lifetimes of strangeness within the confines of a short story. Agent: The Denise Shannon Literary Agency. (Feb.)

 
BookPage Reviews

The strange horrors in Karen Russell's world

In Karen Russell’s universe, by the time a story sets itself in motion the worst has already happened. You may be a bloodless vampire who has lost the taste for anything but the tang of lemons. Or you could be a young woman sold into slavery so complete that it literally dehumanizes you. Or perhaps you are the president of the United States who awakens to find himself metamorphosed (among other former presidents) into a farmyard horse. In any case, things certainly seem like they could not get worse, for your very self has been ripped away, leaving you with nothing left to lose.

These ordeals—three among the eight lying in wait for you within Vampires in the Lemon Grove—happen to “you” because Russell’s language is so vivid and sensuous that they become breathtakingly real experiences. This is horror fiction at its playful and unflinching worst . . . and therefore best. No wonder Stephen King expressed his delighted recognition of a worthy young colleague when Russell’s first novel, Swamplandia!, came out last year.

Just because the worst already appears to be a matter of record, events in each story tend to get suddenly much, much worse, making the former “worst” look stupid by contrast. That’s what happens in the collection’s finest tale, “Proving Up,” which won this year’s National Magazine Award for Fiction. The denouement of this startling fable of pioneer hardship belongs spiritually to Willa Cather’s darkest nightmares, chilling to the last horrific sentence.

The strange predicate offered in the first sentence of this review—the notion that a story “sets itself in motion”—is as precise as I can make it. Russell’s short tales—like the acclaimed Swamplandia!—have the feel of autonomous creatures: The author gives a wicked little push and they’re off and chomping. If the worst has already happened; if, Job-like, you’ve got nothing left to lose, then the whirlwind best is yet to be—as in the last, haunting story of the book, “The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis,” where you are a boy who has been dreadfully cruel to another boy and now the time has come for your comeuppance. You can hardly wait.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

DISCUSSION