orange 75584Orange World and Other Stories
By Karen Russell
(Knopf)


Orange World is an exquisite example of what author Karen Russell does best. These eight short stories could be confused with modern day fairy tales, a twist on stories that have been told over and over. But with Russell’s flawless craft, they take on a life of their own. The frame is the same: protagonists struggling with a moral dilemma, but they do so in truly unique settings and situations. Russell is an expert at making the ordinary seem extraordinary. 

The stories, however, are not complete fantasy—they also reflect modern society. In one, a tornado farmer confronts his purpose in life and questions how the storms he raises impact his family and community. The tone of this story resonates powerfully with our current conversation about global warming. Other pieces hint at debates around consent, consumerism, and postpartum depression. They get at a truth more revealing than if they were non-fiction. Add to that Russell’s deft turns of phrase and her dark humor, and this collection is a true work of art—one that uncovers something new with every read. (5/5)

By Rebkah Miel

Orange World and Other Stories was released May 14, 2019. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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