From the celebrated twenty-nine-year-old author of the everywhere-heralded short-story collection St. Lucy8217;s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (8220;How I wish these were my own words, instead of the breakneck demon writer Karen Russell8217;s . . . Run for your life. This girl is on fire8221;8212;Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a blazingly original debut novel that takes us back to the swamps of the Florida Everglades, and introduces us to Ava Bigtree, an unforgettable young heroine.The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly 1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava8217;s mother, the park8217;s indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost; and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their family business from going under. Ava8217;s father, affectionately known as Chief Bigtree, is AWOL; and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety-eight gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief.Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular novel about a family8217;s struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. An arrestingly beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in fiction.From the Hardcover edition.
The ecologically fertile chaos of Florida's Everglades meets the orchestrated activity of contrived theme parks in Karen Russell's SWAMPLANDIA The eponymous alligator-wrestling farm is run by a little girl just trying to keep the business above the mucky lines of insolvency and the saturated ground on which the plantation is founded. How Ava Bigtree stumbles into this responsibility despite two older siblings makes up the book's outlandish unfolding, along with the challenge of Swamplandia's rival in the local tourist economy, an organization known as World of Darkness. Selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Reviews as one of the Ten Best Books of 2011.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Family + Friendship, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Literary
- Vintage Books
- February 21, 2013
- July 26, 2011
- Karen Russell