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Vampires in the Lemon Grove


This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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.  

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 29, 2012 – There are only eight stories in Russell s new collection, but as readers of Swamplandia! know, Russell doesn t work small. She s a world builder, and the stranger the better. Not that she writes fantasy, exactly: the worlds she creates live within the one we know but sometimes they operate by different rules. Take The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979 : Nal, its main character, is your basic dejected 14-year-old boy whose brother gets the girls and whose mother has more or less given up; Nal was a virgin. He kicked at a wet clump of sand until it exploded. But in this beach town, the seagulls have secrets. Or consider The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis, a story of high school bullying that extends a familiar plot line in eerie and convincing ways. Similarly, The New Veterans, in which a middle-aged masseuse works on a young Iraq War vet haunted by his buddy s death, blurs horror, the genre, with the horror of daily life. Is the masseuse losing her mind? Is the vet? What about those ignoring the war entirely? Perhaps the answers lie in the veteran s muddy, whole-back tattoo: Light hops the fence of its design. So many colors go waterfalling down the man s spine that, at first glance, she can t make any sense of the picture. While this story runs a little long, and the otherwise excellent Proving Up doesn t need its final gothic touch, Russell s great gift along with her antic imagination who else would give us a barn full of ex-presidents reincarnated as horses? is her ability to create whole landscapes and lifetimes of strangeness within the confines of a short story.

Customer Reviews

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Left hanging

I only got about half way through this collection of short stories. The stories themselves aren't bad, except that none of them has any sort of resolution at the end. They just end abruptly, leaving the reader hanging. Something like finishing the salad and your waiter comes out and says "Sorry, but the cook just quit, so you won't be getting your steak."

Vampires in the Lemon Grove
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Feb 12, 2013
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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