Luke Wortley


Hard to believe Karen Russell has been publishing fiction for less than ten years. Her debut story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (2006), won the Bard Fiction Prize. Her first novel, Swamplandia! (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, earned inclusion in the New York Times’ “10 Best Books of 2011,” and won the New York Public Library’s 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award. In 2013 Russell received the prestigious Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation and released a second collection of stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Russell’s writing has also been honored with the National Magazine Award for Fiction and the Berlin Prize. A novella entitled Sleep Donation is due in 2014.While visiting Butler University in the Fall of 2013, Russell sat down with Booth’s own Luke Wortley for a conversation about geography, Jim Shepard, and the Super Soaker of metaphors.

(Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of the full interview, which will appear in our next print issue, Booth 7.)

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"A Conversation with Karen Russell" was originally published at Booth.