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Publisher's Summary

From the Pulitzer Finalist and universally beloved author of the New York Times best sellers Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a stunning new collection of short fiction that showcases Karen Russell’s extraordinary, irresistible gifts of language and imagination.

Karen Russell’s comedic genius and mesmerizing talent for creating outlandish predicaments that uncannily mirror our inner in lives is on full display in these eight exuberant, arrestingly vivid, unforgettable stories. In “Bog Girl”, a revelatory story about first love, a young man falls in love with a 2,000-year-old girl that he’s extracted from a mass of peat in a Northern European bog. In “The Prospectors”, two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives. In the brilliant, hilarious title story, a new mother desperate to ensure her infant’s safety strikes a diabolical deal, agreeing to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection. The landscape in which these stories unfold is a feral, slippery, purgatorial space, bracketed by the void - yet within it Russell captures the exquisite beauty and tenderness of ordinary life. Orange World is a miracle of storytelling from a true modern master. 

Stories
 “The Prospectors” read by Emily Rankin
“The Bad Graft” read by Arthur Morey
“Bog Girl: A Romance” read by Mhairi Morrison
“Madame Bovary’s Greyhound” read by Cassandra Campbell
“The Tornado Auction” read by Mark Bramhall
“Black Corfu” read by Dominic Hoffman
“The Gondoliers” read by Bahni Turpin
“Orange World” read by Rebecca Lowman

©2019 Karen Russell (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Another set of masterpieces…Russell’s language rockets off the page…one of our most entrancing storytellers.” (Vogue

"A feast of invention and a fun house of surprising wisdom, Orange World contains a ghost-ship lodge, tourist trade in a post-apocalyptic drowned city, a tornado farm, a local succubus. Karen Russell moves from the farcical to the forbidden with tender conviction. Don't miss this book of marvels!" (Louise Erdrich) 

"[A] brilliantly inventive... wonderful new collection of short stories...Russell grounds each story in human experience, both poignant and hilarious in turn... Underlying all of this is the exquisite beauty of Russell’s sentences, which will repeatedly surprise readers with their imagery and masterful language." (BookPage, starred review) 

"Eight crisp stories that will leave longtime fans hungry for more. Since her debut more than a decade ago, Russell has exhibited a commitment to turning recognizable worlds on their heads in prose so rich that sentences almost burst at the seams. Her third collection is no exception, and its subjects - forgotten pockets of violent American history, climate-related apocalypse, the trials of motherhood - feel fresh and urgent in her care.... A momentous feat of storytelling in an already illustrious career." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What listeners say about Orange World and Other Stories

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Wild Ride

I selected this title based on Maureen Corrigan's year end recommendations, and am glad I did. This was my first Karen Russell book, but won't be my last. Many authors remain firmly rooted in their homeland, but Orange World and Other Stories takes us on a cross-country journey from the watery (post-Katrina in my mind) southeast, through tornado alley, to the depression era Rockies, Joshua Tree and the pacific northwest with visits back to Old World mythology in Ireland and Genoa. I mentally marveled at the range and precise texture of each tale. How did this imagination arise in this day and age? The narrators are perfectly matched to their stories and deliver added lift and shiver to each. This would be a great companion on a cross-country drive, a night around the campfire or anytime you really need to escape daily life.

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One of the greatest of this day and age 👏🏽

It is rare to find an author with superb writing and astonishing imagination. Russell has absolutely entranced me with these stories. She manages to suck you into her fantasy and forget its fantasy. Five stars all around.

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Extraordinary Writing

This write! is miles above almost everyone else when it comes to a poetic inventive lyrical yet strong use of image and vocabulary. I only wish that I were a better writer to describe her work! Her subject matter isn’t always comfortable for me - I’m not a fan of the undead or weird, but the writing is so good I will go on reading Karen Russel, no matter what the plot! Such a relief and joy after mountains of mediocre writing.

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Perfect on all levels

Loved this book- such well-written, wildly creative stories and they could not have done a better job picking narrators. Outstanding!

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Very good

This a wonderful book that you really need to listen to. You need to try it as soon as possible.

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Eclectic and interesting.

I enjoyed the shill at which this well written story was executed. There is little wonder why these essays were on the summer reading lists. Enjoy.