Karen Russell

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Karen Russell
Karen Russell 6590.JPG
Born (1981-07-10) July 10, 1981 (age 37)
Miami, Florida
Occupation Writer
Education Coral Gables Senior High School
Alma mater Northwestern University, Columbia University
Notable awards MacArthur fellowship, 5 under 35 honoree

Karen Russell (born July 10, 1981) is an American novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She was also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" in 2013. In 2009 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree.

Early life

Russell, after graduation from Coral Gables Senior High School in Miami in 1999, received a B.A. in Spanish from Northwestern University in 2003 and graduated from the MFA program at Columbia University in 2006.

Her brother, Kent Russell, is also a writer.


Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories, Conjunctions, Granta, The New Yorker, Oxford American, and Zoetrope.[1]

She was named a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" young writer honoree at a November 2009 ceremony[2] for her first book of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.

Her second book and first novel, Swamplandia!, about a shabby amusement park set in the Everglades, was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2011.[3] It was also included in the New York Times' "10 Best Books of 2011,"[4] and won the New York Public Library's 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award.[5]

She is the recipient of the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Berlin Prize and Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, for Spring 2012.[6]

She won the Bard Fiction Prize in 2011 for her book St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.[7] She is currently a visiting writer at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.[8]

In 2012, Swamplandia! was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. None of the three finalists, however, received enough votes, and no prize was awarded. Her short story "The Hox River Window," published in Zoetrope: All-Story, won the 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction.[9]

Russell has spent time as an artist in residence at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY[10].

A collection of short stories by Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, was published in February 2013.

In Fall 2013, Russell was a distinguished guest teacher of creative writing in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden.[11]


  • St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Knopf. 2006. ISBN 978-0-307-26398-8.; Random House Digital, Inc. 2007, ISBN 978-0-307-27667-4
  • Swamplandia!. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-26399-5.; Random House Digital, Inc., 2011, ISBN 978-0-307-26399-5
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories. Knopf. 2013. ISBN 978-0-307-95723-8.; Random House Digital, Inc., 2013, ISBN 978-0-307-96108-2
  • Sleep Donation: A Novella. Atavist Books. 2014. ISBN 978-1-937-89428-3.; Atavist Books, 2014, ISBN 978-1-937-89428-3.

Short fiction

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
A Family Restaurant 2011 Russell, Karen (Fall 2011). "A Family Restaurant". Conjunctions. 57. Russell, Karen (2013). "A Family Restaurant". In Henderson, Bill (ed). The Pushcart Prize XXXVII : best of the small presses 2013. Pushcart Press. pp. 183–206.
The bog girl 2016 Russell, Karen (June 20, 2016). "The bog girl". The New Yorker. 92 (18): 60–69.


  1. ^ "Karen Russell". August 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
  2. ^ "The National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' Fiction Selections For 2009".
  3. ^ "ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION ANNOUNCES 2011 LONGLIST". Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  4. ^ "The 10 Best Books of 2011"
  5. ^ "Finalists Chosen for The New York Public Library’s 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award", New York Public Library, March 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "The American Academy Announces the 2011-2012 Class of Fellows" Archived 2011-09-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Karen Russell, 2011 Recipient" Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine., Bard Fiction Prize.
  8. ^ Writers' Workshop Archived 2010-01-11 at the Wayback Machine., The University of Iowa.
  9. ^ National Magazine Award, American Society of Magazine Editors.
  10. ^ "MacArthur Fellowships Awarded to Yaddo Guests". Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Nominee to Serve as Guest Teacher for Rutgers-Camden MFA Program", Rutgers Today, January 9, 2013.

External links

  • Random House Author Page
  • 2011 podcast interview at The Bat Segundo Show
  • "A Conversation with Karen Russell about her first novel, Swamplandia!", BookBrowse
  • "Interview with Karen Russell: Author of St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves", In the Labyrinth, June 16, 2010
  • "20 Under 40: Q. & A.Karen Russell", The New Yorker, June 14, 2010
  • Willing Davidson (September 30, 2013). "This Weird Short Story I've Been Working On".
  • Karen Russell at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Short Stories

  • Haunting Olivia
  • ZZ's Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers by Karen Russell
  • The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis
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