Karen Russell's picture

Karen Russell

USA flag (b.1981)

Karen Russell born in Miami, Florida is an American novelist. Her debut novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. No prize for fiction was awarded that year.

Genres: Literary Fiction
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2011) : Swamplandia!
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2012) : Swamplandia!
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2013) : Swamplandia!

Karen Russell recommends
Bright Before Us (2011)
Katie Arnold-Ratliff
"Katie Arnold-Ratliff writes sentences that have the luminous candor of X-rays, laser-traceries of the human heart."
The Storm at the Door (2011)
Stefan Merrill Block
"One of the bravest and most beautiful books I have ever read."
The Uninnocent (2011)
Bradford Morrow
"The Uninnocent is a masterpiece of empathy and of storytelling. I love this chapel of unholy stories with their charming, monstrous, wholly sympathetic characters."
The Last Flight of Poxl West (2015)
Daniel Torday
"A profound and timely meditation on the desire for justice, retribution, and redemption. This book is unputdownable, wise, and unbelievably generous."
Thrill Me (2016)
Benjamin Percy
"Thrill Me practices what it preaches-it's a craft book that is also a thrilling read."
Our Short History (2017)
Lauren Grodstein
"Funny and fast-paced and extraordinarily insightful on every page . . . Anyone lucky enough to get roughed-up by Grodstein's devastating, fearlessly honest, often hilarious, gorgeously written novel will exit it changed."
Gravity Changes (2017)
Zach Powers
"Goofy and profound, lyrical and exhilarating...a thrilling, rocket-fueled debut."
The Wild Birds (2018)
Emily Strelow
"A love song to the living world, this shimmering, intricate web of a book is going to capture hearts."
A Place for Us (2018)
Fatima Farheen Mirza
"A Place for Us is a triumph and an inspiration. I wish everyone would read this novel. A chronicle of the shattered expectations and irreconcilable desires within an American-Muslim family, A Place for Us hums with a deep faith in an unknown future, reminding its readers that when we are lost, love gives us a map home."
Ohio (2018)
Stephen Markley
"Stephen Markley is an expert cartographer of the American Rust Belt and the haunted landscapes of his characters' interiors. A fast-moving and devastating debut."
The Dreamers (2019)
Karen Thompson Walker
"Frighteningly powerful, beautiful, and uncanny, The Dreamers is a love story and also a horror story - a symphonic achievement, alternating intimate moments with a panoramic capture of a crisis in progress."
The Municipalists (2019)
Seth Fried
"Seth Fried is a pure delight to read."
Where the Wild Ladies Are (2020)
Aoko Matsuda
"Where the Wild Ladies Are immediately became one of my favorite story collections. The ghosts have got the numbers on us, as Matsuda knows, and it's a joy to see the living and the dead by the light of her radiant imagination. At once playful, joyful, and radically subversive."
The Body Double (2020)
Emily Beyda
"Emily Beyda spins gorgeous prose around the black hole at the center of The Body Double. An existential thriller that vibrates at the uncanny pitch where screaming might be laughter, and a haunting portrait of a young woman as she disappears into the sinkhole of the camera. The Narcissus-funhouse of Hollywood, the moonlit windows of Los Angeles, the two-way mirror of consciousness—Beyda arrows directly for the crack in the glass."
The Great Offshore Grounds (2020)
Vanessa Veselka
"The Great Offshore Grounds reminded me of what a great novel can do--Veselka's seafaring epic has the forward momentum of a grand adventure and the spiraling depth of a new myth. All the pleasure of eighteenth century storytelling renewed for our newborn millennium. I love this textured, tonally complex wonder of a book, a quest for Melville's 'unimaginable sublimity' that never shies away from the messy flux of the body, or the oceanic scope of our shared global history. It's also a blast to read--darkly hilarious, astral, cerebral, suspenseful, warm-blooded, divine."
The Queen of Tuesday (2020)
Darin Strauss
"Darin Strauss has resurrected a lost world--the grand movie that never aired, the truncated epic of what might have been between Lucille Ball and his grandfather. Part elegy, part mystery, part speculative memoir, here is a love story unlike any you've read before--spiked with Hollywood scandal and the secrets families keep across generations. Strauss is a beautiful and funny and piercing writer, and this book is a gift."
The Five Wounds (2021)
Kirstin Valdez Quade
"Kirstin Valdez Quade writes with exquisite precision about the fragility and resilience of the Padilla family…I loved The Five Wounds, which reminded me that growing pains are not confined to adolescence and that people can be newborn at any age. Even its most excruciating moments are charged with a luminous compassion."
The Ghost Variations (2021)
Kevin Brockmeier
"The Ghost Variations is a haunted jukebox sparkling in the shadows, built to house a hundred voices, a hundred gorgeous songs. Each one is a masterpiece in miniature from one of our greatest writers, by turns funny and philosophical, chilling and warm. Like a palmful of smelling salts, these very short stories will wake you up. Only Kevin Brockmeier could write ghost stories that make a reader feel so alive."
Phase Six (2021)
Jim Shepard
"If you’ve been waiting for the great novel of the COVID-19 era, it’s in your hands. I read Phase Six with a galloping heart. With heroic humor and a poet’s ear and eye for what makes humanity worth saving, Shepard’s polyphonic novel of contagion and collapse is also the story of love’s unlikely survival in the most hostile conditions."
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (2021)
Rivka Galchen
"Imagine a story set in 1620 that speaks directly to your own scalded, twenty-first century heart. By Rivka Galchen's magic, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch instantly became one of my favorite books. I need no witchcraft to predict it will astonish, beguile, and transform you, too."
Filthy Animals (2021)
Brandon Taylor
"Brandon Taylor writes with unsparing precision about the blurry territories of fear, longing, violence, and desire. An extraordinary book that rewards, and deserves, keen attention."
Appleseed (2021)
Matt Bell
"Appleseed is a work of incandescent imagination, at once an eco-horror story about human greed and a regenerative new myth. I loved the soaring possibilities seeded throughout this wild novel, which pushes its readers to imagine 'new ways of dwelling' in and with non-human nature. Bell's book is a chrysalis inside of which I could feel my mind changing, preparing for new flights."

Visitors to this page also looked at these authors