Orange World

Karen Russell. Knopf, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-525-65613-5
The inimitable Russell (Vampires in the Lemon Grove) returns with a story collection that delights in the uncanny, parlaying the deeply fantastical to reflect the basest and most human of our desires. In “The Bad Graft,” an eloping young couple, Angie and Andy, go hiking at Joshua Tree National Park. They’ve arrived during peak pulse event season, when yucca moths swarm and “the Joshua tree sheds a fantastic sum of itself.” This refers to both pollination and a Joshua tree’s so-called Leap, during which Angie becomes the human vessel for the tree’s spirit. In “The Tornado Auction,” Robert Wurman is a former tornado farmer, retired now after decades of raising tornadoes for “weather-assisted demolition.” His spontaneous decision to purchase a young tornado begins to spiral out of control as the tornado grows larger and more destructive, and he is forced to face the ramifications of his choices on his family. And in the title story, a mother desperate to save her child makes a deal with the devil, allowing the devil to breast feed from her in exchange for protection and peace of mind. Each story is impeccably constructed and stunningly imagined, though not all of them land emotionally. Regardless, this is a wonderfully off-kilter collection. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/20/2019
Release date: 06/18/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-984892-21-8
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