St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

  • by Karen Russell
  • Narrated by Ariel Sitrick, Zach McLarty, Patrick Mackie, Nick Chamian, Jesse Bernstein, J. B. Adkins, Kathe Mazur, Arthur Morey, Kirby Heyborne, Deirdre Lovejoy
  • 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A dazzling debut, a blazingly original voice: the 10 stories in St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves introduce a radiant new talent.
In the collection's title story, a pack of girls raised by wolves are painstakingly reeducated by nuns. In "Haunting Olivia", two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab. In "Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers", a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to a summer camp for troubled sleepers (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Sleep Apneics; Cabin 3, Somnambulists . . . ). "And Ava Wrestles the Alligator" introduces the remarkable Bigtree Wrestling Dynasty: Grandpa Sawtooth, Chief Bigtree, and 12-year-old Ava, proprietors of Swamplandia!, the island's number-one Gator Theme Park and Cafe, Ava is still mourning her mother when her father disappears, his final words to her the swamp maxim "Feed the gators, don't talk to strangers." Left to look after 70 incubating alligators and an older sister who may or may not be having sex with a succubus, Ava meets the Bird Man, and learns that when you're a kid it's often hard to tell the innocuous secrets from the ones that will kill you if you keep them.
Russell's stories are beautifully written and exuberantly imagined, but it is the emotional precision behind their wondrous surfaces that makes them unforgettable. Magically, from the spiritual wilderness and ghostly swamps of the Florida Everglades, against a backdrop of ancient lizards and disconcertingly lush plant life, in an idiom that is as arrestingly lovely as it is surreal, Karen Russell shows us who we are and how we live.

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What the Critics Say

"A master of tone and texture and an authority on the bizarre, Karen Russell writes with great flair and fearlessness." (The Denver Post)
"How I wish these were my own words, instead of breakneck demon writer Karen Russell's, whose stories begin, in prose form, where the jabberwock left off....Run for your life. This girl is on fire." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"Russell's short stories, some of which have been published in the New Yorker and other journals, have already generated widespread attention, as has her youth: at 24, she's been included in New York magazine's list of "25 under 25 to Watch." This unusual, haunting collection confirms that the hype is well deserved." (Booklist, Starred Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Killed by casting

The writing in these stories is wonderful, but the casting could not be worse. There are about two good readers in the whole book. I had to strain to get through the others. Loved the story about the camp for kids with sleep disorders. I particularly noticed a lot of mispronounced words in this audiobook, which was really distracting. I would read this one, not listen.
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- Zane

Horrid performance

The writing here is beautiful, the images lovely and haunting, BUT I'd read this one on paper. The performers as a group are mediocre for the most part, but the thing that has driven me to write my first review ever for Audible is that some of them used the wrong words. For example, in "Ava Wrestles the Alligator," the reader calls the sister's boyfriend Lucius. When I looked at the paper version, I discovered that his name is Luscious. Huge difference, don't you think?
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- DB

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio