REVIEW ✓ St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves Stories

Karen Russell Ö 1 REVIEW

St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves Stories

Agedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' Cabin 1 Narcoleptics; Cabin 2 Insomniacs; Cabin 3 Somnambulists; a Minotaur leads his family on the trail out West and finally in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story fifteen girls raised by wolves are painst These stories are wonderfully creative beautifully writ

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Akingly re civilised by nuns These ten extraordinary stories introduce an audacious new talent and a world in which weird and wonderful predicaments magically reveal the truth of our own lives This title presents a blazingly original voice a dazzling debut and a breathtaking discove The only reason this isn't a 5 star is that I hate shor

REVIEW ¶ TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK Ö Karen Russell

Charting loss love and the difficult art of growing up these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight 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; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tr first of all greg i lied to you i told you that the con


About the Author: Karen Russell

Karen Russell graduated from Columbia Home for Kindle Ï University's MFA program in Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories Conjunctions Granta The New Yorker Oxford American and Zoetrope Her first book of short stories St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves was published in September In November she was named a National Book Foundation Under honoree I.



10 thoughts on “St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves Stories

  1. says:

    first of all greg i lied to you i told you that the conch shell story the city of shells was my favorite because i felt put on the spot and distracted and that was the first one i thought of but my real favorite story is the one on the boated retirement community out to sea god i felt that one in my desiccated old heart saci really enjoyed this collection the stories all contain wavery bits of the surreal her style reminds me of kelly link than george saunders which comparison greggers made there is always something prickly about george saunders something almost aggressive and mocking these are dreamy and even the unpleasant parts feel safe like waking up could make the problems go away for the charactersthe only story i was not crazy about was the one with the minotaur from children's reminiscences of the westward migration in fact i mentioned this to greg and he said man i am so sick of minotaurs so authors take note greg is over the minotaurrussell is a very confident writer she doesn't take the easy way out but she also doesn't go for the unexpected scenes that arrive unsupported by the rest of the story and she sure does like the word limnthe collection is teasingly connected like millhauser's enchanted night all the stories take place in the same island community in the florida everglades where marvelous and magical things happen girls take ghost lovers or have werewolf parents boys spy on secret adult rituals at the ice skating rink complete with skating baboons or have vivid dreams of atrocities of the past characters will occasionally pop up in other stories but only in whispers or offhand remarks just to see if you are paying attentionshe has a real delicacy to her prose and even when her stories are unresolved frustratingly so i don't feel it is because she didn't know how to end it but that she chose her ambiguity with a shrug and a wink i am glad she is the current darling of the young literary scene; i wish her the best and am very excited to see how her new full length piece compares to this thumbs up karen russell and great namecome to my blog


  2. says:

    Posted at Shelf InflictedSt Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is an unusual collection of imaginative uirky moving unsettling and stylishly written stories featuring troubled children as they learn grow and make their way in the world Their parents are flawed and dealing with their own issues as well like the minotaur who moves his human family out west for a fresh start While I enjoyed the majority of stories in this collection I found they suffered from sameness and repetition which is why this book took me over a month to read One of my favorites in this collection was the title story about a group of girls raised by wolves sent to a school to be educated and civilized by nuns “”Lick your own wounds” I said not unkindly It was what the nuns had instructed us to say; wound licking was not something you did in polite company Etiuette was so confounding in this country Still looking at Mirabella – her fists balled together like small white porcupines her brows knitted in animal confusion – I felt a throb of compassion How can people live like they do? I wondered” I also enjoyed Out to Sea about a group of retirees living in houseboats that are volunteered to pair up with at risk youths completing their court ordered community service “Like most of the residents of the of the Out to Sea Retirement Community Miss Markopoulos has spent decades hoarding a secret cache of love shelved and putrefying in a uiet cupboard within her; and now at the end of a life she has no one to share it with” I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy fantasy magical realism uirky characters and coming of age stories


  3. says:

    Honestly I just can't read this any There were two stories left but I had to put it down Individually the stories in this volume are highly creative heartbreaking and imaginative but taken as a volume the sheer similarities between all of the tales made me want to pull my hair out Russell is obviously very talented but I'd love to read something that isn't told from an overly precocious child's point of view that doesn't end in medias res and that doesn't involve strangely allegorical elements


  4. says:

    This collection of short stories was uite good I'm awful at writing reviews for short story collections mostly because I'm too lazy or forgetful to jot down notes about the individual stories when I finish them so the entire collection sort of becomes jumbled up in my head These kind of fall into the George Saunders like style of writing weird slightly off kilter distortions of the real world but unlike some of the George Saunders esue writers out there is never the feeling that Karen Russell is trying to be weird for weird's sake I think some of this has to do with her really great use of voice for the characters and the development of the characters It would seem to me to be really easy when writing stories like this to get all caught up in the strange setting and then just hoping that the setting and plot will make for an interesting story In uite a few of the stories she writes really convincingly as a teenage boy actually so convincingly that about half way through the book I started to assume that most of the first person narrators would be boys until proven otherwise this is something that I don't think I normally do with stories written by women I know that Lit Crit 101 tells you not to but in this day and age especially with young writers damn her for being so much younger than me first person is usually a giant flag of hey this is sort of me the author airing myself out for you all to see but with enough of an ironical wink and nudge to put a little bit of fictional narrative distance between myself and the story Another aspect of the stories I found myself enjoying was the would sometimes border on being perverse or shocking but never actually cross the line This created a nice creepy undercurrent to some of the stories which would have been destroyed if she had allowed herself to write explicitly This also kind of helped add to the unknown that floats around us as children since many of the narrators are children where there are things that you have the feeling are not uite right or 'dirty' but unable to really fill in the pieces does that make sense to anyone else but me? Again this is a very good thing and her being a young writer it's nice to see that she just take the relatively easy way of being shocking because she can I'm looking forward to reading her novel which sounds like it's an expansion on this collections first story


  5. says:

    I am very very jealous of Karen Russell She got to study creative writing at Columbia she made New York Magazine list of twenty five people to watch under the age of twenty six and she was twenty five when this book was published and she also happens to be really really talented I bet she's really cool and her apartment is awesome and she has lots of great shoes St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves can I get that on a tshirt or something? is a collection of short stories that mostly take place in the same island community in Florida I hesitate to call the stories magical realism because it doesn't seem like the correct description but it's true that there's something magical at work in the world of these stories and their world isn't the same as ours In Ava Wrestles the Alligator a girl's sister is freuently possessed by her ghost boyfriend ZZ's Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers is about a camp for among other things insomniacs somnambulists night terrors incubuses and Miscellaneous our narrator is in this last category and he has dreams that predict disasters that have already happened from Children's Reminiscences of the Western Migration is a straightforward story of a pioneer family traveling in a wagon train except the narrator's father is a Minotaur In the title story the human offspring of werewolves are rehabilitated into normal society and forced to shed their wolf characteristics Every single story is fascinating and mysterious and full of writing so beautiful it makes me want to cry and the magical elements are presented in such a straightforward simple way that you don't even uestion it and just let the prose wash over you like this gorgeous passage from Haunting OliviaOn the fifth night of our search I see a plesiosaur It is a megawatt behemoth bronze and blue white streaking across the sea floor like a torpid comet Watching it I get this primordial deja vu like I'm watching a dream return to my body It wings towards me with a slow avian grace Its long neck is arched in an S shaped curve; its lizard body is the size of Granana's carport Each of its ghost flippers pinwheels colored light I try to swim out of its path but the thing's too big to avoid That Leviathan fin it shivers right through me It's a light in my belly cold and familiar And I flash back to a snippet from school a line from a poem or a science book I can't remember which There are certain prehistoric things that swim beyond extinctionBut general loveliness aside this is ultimately an unsatisfying collection Russel creates fantastic characters and scenarios but she can't seem to find a good way to bring them to a close The stories don't end they just stop usually without warning and with nothing explained or learned or resolved The only exception to this is the title story which was also my favorite because it's the only story in the entire collection that has a clear beginning middle and end All the others despite the skill with which they're put together leave you with a distinctly deflated feeling Oddly this is actually making me interested in reading Russell's debut novel Swamplandia it's a continuation of the family of alligator wrestlers she created in Ava Wrestles the Alligator I'll be interested to see what Russell does when she has the length of a novel to explore her characters' weird fascinating worlds and also what happens when an editor forces her to write a real ending


  6. says:

    These stories are wonderfully creative beautifully written and make me very jealous of Karen Russell in general So why the low rating? Because almost every single one of the stories ended too soon I don't mean ended sooner than I would have liked and I'm sad that I can't stay with it longer well that's actually true as well But I mean ended right as things were getting interesting leaving everything not just unresolved but in fact disappointing and bewildering since there was no resolution at all which after the first few stories just gets increasingly frustrating At the end of the story the protagonists are still trapped or just starting to enter the cave or are only halfway through their journey etc If these were individual stories the dangling endings wouldn't be so intolerable but after the fifth or sixth story in a row it's really difficult to keep reading


  7. says:

    A pack of feral half wolf girls raised by nuns in a foster home a brother diving to find his little sister in a haunted cave a family of minotaurs moving westward two young girls living and growing up among alligators at an amusement park all this and awaits you in Karen Russell's debut collection of stories published when she was just 25I have a bit of a crush on Karen Russell Her stories are great she has the rare combination of both imagination and talent allowing her to creatively turn even the wildest ideas into entertaining and endearing stories with people or creatures that we can care about Her language flows briskly and easily with a careful balance between elegance and vernacular that I envy her a bit Most of the stories in this collection are set in Russel's native southern Florida its many swamps and islands along the coasts of the Everglades This is a setting which is naturally magical and full of the unexplored possibility of the tropical wilderness ideal for these uirky and off beat talesBut the collection good as it is is not without its flaws it is after all a debut and some rougher edges escaped the final polish Although each story features a different protagonist and most are narrated in the first person there is a lack of a different voice for each of them the absence of narrative distinction makes all character morph into one and sound like the author's vision of them The second biggest complaint which for many readers can be a dealbreaker are the non endings most of the stories in the collection simply end without a resolution in medias res It's particularly visible in stories such as Out to Sea which is one of the few that don't feature any surreal elements at all Out to Sea is the story of Sawtooth a grumpy old man slowly turning to rust in a Florida home for the elderly and Augie a much younger girl who visits him as a part of her court sentence and with whom he slowly became obsessed Sawtooth ignores that the girl obviously doesn't care for him steals his pills and only hangs around because she has a 50 hour sentence to serve In just a few pages we see an unlikely but moving transformation as for probably the first time in his life Sawtooth begins to feel something for another human being and we want to see what will happen and then it just ends without a real resolution or the characters learning anything I know that it's difficult to include any real polemic on the whole range of human emotions but come on Such a wasted opportunityI'm happy to say that Karen's second collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a definite improvement and a brilliant volume full of self contained little gems And that's the one I'd recommend I think that readers seeking imaginative and creative fiction should read Karen Russel She's great I'm looking forward to reading her novel Swamplandia and eagerly await her future stories


  8. says:

    The only reason this isn't a 5 star is that I hate short stories Sorry but I do It just doesn't make sense to me either they're little bits of fluff that are uickly forgotten or they're involved and interesting and there is no reason for them to endThe stories in this book are an example of the latter case These stories are terrific Karen Russel has an incredible command of language she uses the word 'limn' in almost every story and a fascinating imagination The stories are haunting weird beautiful and endlessly creative But each one could have made a fantastic novel Why do they end? Why do all the work of conceptualizing a spookygreat world filling it with multi fasceted characters making some crazy shit happen to them all to just put it away after like 20 pages? Karen I want


  9. says:

    355 My favourite stories were ZZ's Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers Haunting Olivia St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves


  10. says:

    First of all Karen Russell wins the award for best story titles hands down Ava Wrestles the Alligator ZZ's Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers the title story etc The prose crackles Several of the stories take place on a very strange and well imagined island full of Bizarroland tourist attractions perhaps off of Florida She skims the waters of magic realism with the tips of her wings; the titles and the stories are packed with dream imagery All of which is stuff I love Why then the three star rating rather than the four? Russell's use of language is often gorgeous but at the same time it leaves me cold I resorted to reading one story a day so that the beautiful sameness didn't become grating It takes me too long to figure out what makes these characters tick and to figure out the strange rules and etiuette of the world in which they live They all carry a reserve that makes it hard for me to feel for them and the narrators' voices too have a sameness to them Finally I often have trouble figuring out where my own stories should end so I hate to throw stones but many of these stories feel incomplete I know it's not necessarily wrong for a story to leave you saying then what happened? but many of these felt like interrupted dreams the kind you wake from with that nagging feeling that there was a little left to it that it would all make sense if only you'd had five minutes


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