St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Front Cover
Knopf, 2006 - Fiction - 246 pages
661 Reviews
A dazzling debut, a blazingly original voice: the ten stories inSt. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolvesintroduce a radiant new talent.

In the collection’s title story, a pack of girls raised by wolves are painstakingly reeducated by nuns. In “Haunting Olivia,” two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab. In “Z.Z.’s Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers,” a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to a summer camp for troubled sleepers (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Sleep Apneics; Cabin 3, Somnambulists . . . ). And “Ava Wrestles the Alligator” introduces the remarkable Bigtree Wrestling Dynasty—Grandpa Sawtooth, Chief Bigtree, and twelve-year-old Ava—proprietors of Swamplandia!, the island’s #1 Gator Theme Park and Café. Ava is still mourning her mother when her father disappears, his final words to her the swamp maxim “Feed the gators, don’t talk to strangers.” Left to look after seventy incubating alligators and an older sister who may or may not be having sex with a succubus, Ava meets the Bird Man, and learns that when you’re a kid it’s often hard to tell the innocuous secrets from the ones that will kill you if you keep them.

Russell’s stories are beautifully written and exuberantly imagined, but it is the emotional precision behind their wondrous surfaces that makes them unforgettable. Magically, from the spiritual wilderness and ghostly swamps of the Florida Everglades, against a backdrop of ancient lizards and disconcertingly lush plant life—in an idiom that is as arrestingly lovely as it is surreal—Karen Russell shows us who we are and how we live.

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Just as quirky and imaginative as the cover art. - Goodreads
Story resolutions were depressing and felt unfinished. - Goodreads
I love Russell's writing style so much. - Goodreads
Russell truly is a gifted writer! - Goodreads
But that aside, the writing is fantastic as always. - Goodreads
fab writing, but content was just too weird. - Goodreads

Review: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

User Review  - Dawn Sherlock - Goodreads

To be fair, I knew going in that I generally do not enjoy short stories. This book was no exception. I did not feel particularly invested in any of the characters, and the endings of the stories felt ... Read full review

Review: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

User Review  - Tobin - Goodreads

A collection of 5 star stories with 1 star endings equals a 3 star rating. Such infuriatingly unfulfilled potential. Read full review


Ava Wrestles the Alligator
Haunting Olivia
Z Z s SleepAway Camp for Disordered Dreamers
The StarGazers Log of SummerTime Crime
from Childrens Reminiscences of
Lady Yeti and the Palace of Artificial Snows
The City of Shells
Out to Sea
Accident Brief Occurrence 00422
St Lucys Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

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About the author (2006)

Karen Russell, a native of Miami, has been featured in both The New Yorker's debut fiction issue and New York magazine's list of twenty-five people to watch under the age of twenty-six. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program and is the 2005 recipient of the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award; her fiction has recently appeared in Conjunctions, Granta, Zoetrope, Oxford American, and The New Yorker. Twenty-five years old, she lives in New York City.

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