‘Swamp’ thing! Catch hot writer Russell’s gator-filled escapism on Feb. 2

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Karen Russell has never quite left Florida.

In her highly imaginative debut, “Swamplandia!” the Miami native-turned-New York transplant tells the story of a family of alligator wrestlers and their struggling Everglades tourist attraction, Swamplandia.

“I tried to write an urban story once, but it still had a scarecrow,” said Russell, who’ll read at BookCourt on Feb. 2. “Maybe I need a bit of time lag, like jet lag.”

For now, Russell, who joined the literati ranks of Jonathem Lethem and Nicole Krauss with an inclusion on the New Yorker magazine’s “20 Under 40” list, is wonderfully stuck in the Everglades as she follows Ava Bigtree, a 13-year-old who ventures deep into the unknown swamp to find her sister, an otherworldly type who’s fallen in love with the ghost of a young man. It’s an enchanting piece of escapism that’s as much about the young girl’s adventures as it is this strange, foreign land.

“It’s a really eerie, alien place. It’s always amazing to me,” said Russell. “It really feels like anything can be possible.”

Karen Russell at BookCourt [163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 875-3677], Feb. 2 at 7 pm. For info, visit

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: