Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell

68%

5 Critic Reviews

Some stories are more convincing than others. The problem facing a writer of heightened realism is not only to create a fantasy that seems real but to bring that fantasy to a satisfying conclusion...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

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.  

 

About Karen Russell

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Karen Russell, a native of Miami, has been featured in the New Yorker's debut fiction issue, was chosen as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007, and was most recently named one of New Yorker magazine's 20 Under 40. Her first collection of short stories, St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was longlisted for the Guardian first book award. Her novel, Swamplandia!, was longlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize and shortlisted for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.
 
Published February 12, 2013 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Vampires in the Lemon Grove
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jess Holland on Mar 24 2013

That Russell smuggles the heftiest of topics – mortality, hope, regret – into stories so wildly fun and full of suspense is a magic trick to rival anything that happens in her fantastical worlds.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by M John Harrison on Mar 14 2013

This way of writing is so clever that nothing needs to be added to the set-up...has already revealed its meanings, which are as subtle as the colour of Kitsune's silk. But plot becomes a problem when you write as intensely as Karen Russell.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Feb 21 2013

Russell is so grand a writer — so otherworldly, yet emotionally devastating; so daffy and daring — that she doesn't need an imprimatur to stake her claim to literary genius.

Read Full Review of Vampires in the Lemon Grove | See more reviews from NPR

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Madeleine Blais on Feb 10 2013

...the range in her narrators and the audacity of her choices are a force to behold.

Read Full Review of Vampires in the Lemon Grove | See more reviews from LA Times

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Mar 01 2013

Some stories are more convincing than others. The problem facing a writer of heightened realism is not only to create a fantasy that seems real but to bring that fantasy to a satisfying conclusion...

Read Full Review of Vampires in the Lemon Grove | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Vampires in the Lemon Grove
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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list