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DECEMBER SHORT STORY SERIES: Karen Russell’s exquisite imagination flares with mundane moments turned surreal in ORANGE WORLD

Stunningly surreal and mystical stories from literary great, Karen Russell, captures a vibrant imagination with a dash of outlandish.



From the Pulitzer finalist and universally beloved author of the New York Times best sellersSWAMPLANDIA! and VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE, a stunning new collect ion of short fiction that showcases Karen Russell’s extraordinary, irresistible gifts of language and imagination. 

I’m a little late the the game here on Karen Russell, but rest assured, she’s been on my radar for some time. Russell’s her wild, brilliant imagination (which is completely unique) fuels my own (more tame) vault of weirdness. ORANGE WORLD (May 2019) completely captured and intrigued me. Eight stories in all–almost all have an ecology connection, they also interweave a series of surreal moments, almost as a melding of Salvador Dali meets literature.

fall colors

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

I enjoyed all the stories in ORANGE WORLD–even the hard-to-fathom ones–because Russell’s writing and observations are razor-sharp. But they’re not for everyone. I found I ‘connected’ most with “The Prospectors,” and the title story, “Orange World,” most, but you may feel differently. I also enjoyed “Bad Graft” because I’ve been to Joshua Tree National Park and could easily visualize the space. “Bog Girl” was entirely unique, but also had a mythical, ancient literature feel as well.

“Bog Girl: A Romance”

a young man falls in love with a 2,000 year old girl he has extracted from a European bog, a mass of peat. He loves this girl and plans to take her to school ala “Mary had a Little Lamb” meets “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

“The Prospectors”

two enterprising young women leave Depression(era)-soaked Florida for new territory in Oregon. But what they don’t know is they’ve stumbled upon an haunted lodge populated by gold prospectors.

“Bad Graft”

starts out relatively normal–guy and girl on a road trip out west and decide to visit Joshua Tree National Park. But they meet a man and swallow a seed and…something (or someone) takes over. We bicker and argue, live in a ramshackle desert cottage, and more.

“Orange World”

presents new mothers in a support group-type location at a natural grocery store. Oh, but one woman is having difficulty with nocturnal feedings. When really, she’s nursing the devil in order to keep her infant safe, a promise she made to the devil.

Orange World and Other Stories is so much more than fresh plots. Russell ties these seemingly disparate tales together with a pervading theme of alienation: from the past, from family, from nature…underlying all of this is the exquisite beauty of Russell’s sentences, which will repeatedly surprise readers with their imagery and masterful language.”

Bookpage, Starred Review

ORANGE WORLD showcases Russell’s fertile and complex imagination, while bringing in the mundane and spotlighting it with the mystical and bizarre. It’s a little of what your brain might do on hallucinogens or in a dream. It’s a little like Helen Phillips meets Margaret Atwood.

3D81D258-C4E3-46FE-88B4-EC460761805AArtistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by L.Lindsay. Follow me on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1

For more information, to connect with Karen Russell via social media, or to purchase a copy of ORANGE WORLD, please visit:

Order LInks: 

Karen-Russell-Final-3-200x300.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR: KAREN RUSSELL won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia! (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and one of The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2011. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim award and is a former fellow of the NYPL Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University and received her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and son. She is the Endowed Chair of Texas State University’s MFA program, where she teaches in the fall semesters.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these social media websites:



#literaryfiction #speculativefiction #alwayswithabook #OrangeWorld #shortstories #storycollection #nature #environment #ecology  


[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website. Author photo by Dan Hawk. Special thanks to the publicity department at Alfred A. Knopf. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by L.Lindsay. Follow me on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay1]

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