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Karen Russell

Karen Russell is the author of the story collections St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Her work is supremely imaginative, exploring the lives of characters as far-ranging as human silk worms to sleep-deprived Americans of the near future. Russell’s first novel, Swamplandia!, is set in the swamps of her native Florida and revisits the opening story of her first collection, “Ava Wrestles the Alligator.” The novel received wide critical acclaim and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Writing for the New York Times, Joy Williams has described Russell’s work as being marked by a “tough, enveloping, exhilarating voice that cannot be equaled.” And Michael Schaub of NPR called Vampires in the Lemon Grove “one of the most innovative, inspired short-story collections in the past decade.”

Karen Russell holds an MFA from Columbia University and her stories have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, and the Oxford American. She was a fellow at the Cullman Center and at the American Academy of Berlin, and she has taught writing and literature at Columbia University, Williams College, Bard College, and the University of Rutgers, Camden. In 2013, she was named a MacArthur fellow.


Sleep Donation: A Novella (2014)
Vampires in the Lemon Grove (2013)
Swamplandia! (2010)
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (2006)

Online Resources

Karen Russell Q&A with the New Yorker
Russell profiled by the MacArthur Foundation
Russell’s latest book reviewed by Joy Williams in the NYT