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The Wilds
by Julia Elliott


Overview - At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help.  Read more...

 
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More About The Wilds by Julia Elliott
 
 
 
Overview
At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend's weird grandmother. These are only a few of the scenarios readers encounter in Julia Elliott's debut collection The Wilds. In her genre-bending stories, Elliott blends Southern gothic strangeness with dystopian absurdities, sci-fi speculations with fairy-tale transformations. Teetering between the ridiculous and the sublime, Elliott's language-driven fiction uses outlandish tropes to capture poignant moments in her humble characters' lives. Without abandoning the tenets of classic storytelling, Elliott revels in lush lyricism, dark humor, and experimental play.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781935639923
  • ISBN-10: 1935639927
  • Publisher: Tin House Books
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Page Count: 370
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

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

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-08-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

The debut collection from Pushcart Prize–winning Elliott is a brilliant combination of emotion and grime, wit and horror. The title story is a coming-of-age tale—tree houses, pimples, puberty, and young romance—that eschews convention with just a dash of lycanthropy. In the strong “Jaws,” an adult woman vacations in Orlando with her elderly parents, only to realize as the days click by, how demented her mother has become. Bizarre health resorts populate both “Regeneration at Mukti” and “Caveman Diet.” In the former, participants scab over and shed skin as a way of rejuvenation; while the latter takes the Paleo diet craze to extremes, as men and women don loincloths and learn the ways of prehistoric barbarians in an attempt to lose weight. The ideas of revival and survival appear throughout the collection: “LIMBs” features robotic technology that allows the elderly to walk; “The End of the World” finds a has-been band trying to regroup for one final cash-in; and “Rapture” uses its title’s literal and Biblical definitions to expand the worldviews of two middle-class girls. Elliott’s gift of vernacular is remarkable, and her dark, modern spin on Southern Gothic creates tales that surprise, shock, and sharply depict vice and virtue. (Oct.)

 
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