St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
by Kevin Wilder
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is another mystical, wonderful thing. I found myself reading jaw-open, thinking How is she doing this? Like riding a horse, it took me a story or two before I could wrap my simple mind around Karen Russell’s impressive, jaunty vocabulary. But then I was off, galloping down hills and jumping over puddles, still reading when there was plenty else to do.
Aw hell. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it here, but after several pages I decided I might be falling in love with the author. The idea only thickened as I contemplated what charming non-generic thing I’d say to her if given the chance at a reading, then what drinks I’d buy her at the bar, then whether I’d be better off taking her to the bowling alley afterward, or more creatively, sneaking into a neighborhood BBQ. You know the drill.
I picked #10 up because of the title, which might be my favorite ever (if so, this one definitely comes in second). All the stories are about children with family problems, and each of them (I think) live near water or aquatic life. All the stories are strange and haunting, enjoyable and hilarious. For instance, in one, some rebellious astronaut-raised children attempt to lure endangered baby turtles from their nest. You might have to dig, and if you dare snooze through a sentence (like I did, again) you’ll be in trouble. I’d put her next to George Saunders and Aimee Bender on my shrine of living authors it’d be foolish to aspire to. Most amazingly, the collection was published when she was 25. I’ll be ecstatic if I’m writing this good at 50.
*Progress update: Last night I got a decent start on #11. I’m reading it with a friend, which seems like a fun way to go. Also, maybe it ensures the probability that I will actually finish it. It’s a long one.. that’s what she said.