Orange World and Other StoriesOrange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell
My rating: 4/5 cats
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i’ve already read and reviewed the first two stories in this collection (The Prospectors and The Bad Graft) during 2017’s december advent calendar, so i’m ahead of the game!

and you, too, can be ahead of the game, as four of the eight stories in this collection previously appeared in the new yorker. here are your links: orange world, bog girl, the prospectors, and the bad graft.

i’m not sure if the other stories can be found elsewhere, but don’t go looking for them online – they are right here in this book! and even though karen russell is giving her milk away for free, you should still buy this cow – it’s got a FOX on the cover! <— sentences like that make me wonder if my brain’s got one of those slow leaks in it. incidentally, the eponymous story here is about a new mother giving her milk away for free… to the devil. so, if you just read all her stories for free, you will be as big a freeloader as the devil, and is that what you want? i didn’t think so. but i will give you a sip, you minor demon:

Even as a girl, Rae was a terrible negotiator. She gave anybody anything they asked of her. She owed the world; the world owned her. She never felt that she could simply take up space; no, one had to earn one’s keep here on planet Earth. As a kid, Rae’s body soundlessly absorbed the painful things that happened to it, and not even an echo of certain events escaped her lips. Sometimes she thought the problem (the gift, she’d once believed) was anatomical; she didn’t seem to have a gag reflex, so none of the secret stuff—the gushy black awful stuff—ever came out. Now it lives inside her, liquefying. Inadmissible, indigestible event. Is that what the devil is drinking?

that passage is slightly different in the new yorker version, so there – now you GOTTA read both.

i’m not going to do a play-by-play of the collection as i usually, masochistically, do, but i’ll high-and-low it: The Prospectors is one of my favorite short stories ever, and The Tornado Auction was my least-favorite in the collection, but this book – like double stuf oreos, has a big delicious middle. AND A FOX ON THE COVER!

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