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Author Tue Feb 11 2014

Author Karen Russell Brings Vampires to The Chicago Humanities Festival

lemongrove.jpgMany readers know author Karen Russell as their tour guide through a more whimsical Florida Everglades, both in her Pulitzer-Prize-nominated novel Swamplandia! and the preceding short story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Her most recent collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove may leave the swamps, but it certainly does not stray from Russell’s signature style.

Featuring protagonists like 19th American president Rutherford B. Hayes reincarnated as a horse, a factory worker transformed into a human-silkworm hybrid, and a titular lemon-grove-dwelling vampire, Russell’s collection asks readers to surrender the distinction between animal and human, and enter worlds so confidently magic that one cannot help but suspend disbelief. Whimsical premises aside, Russell’s prose packs such punch that single sentences will stop you in your tracks.

Many wonder how Russell manages to concoct such clear and earnest fantasies, and now we get to hear the word from the non-presidential horse’s mouth. This Thursday, February 13th, the Chicago Humanities Festival will be hosting Karen Russell in a discussion of Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Make your way to the First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple (77 W Washington St.) at 6 pm, and you may find yourself transported.

 
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