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About the Author: Karen Russell

Karen Russell graduated from Columbia University's MFA program in 2006. Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories, Conjunctions, Granta, The New Yorker, Oxford American, and Zoetrope. Her first book of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was published in September 2006. In November 2009, she was named a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree. In June 2010, she was named a New Yorker "20 Under 40" honoree. Her first novel, Swamplandia!, was published in February 2011.

She lives in Washington Heights, New York.


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Goodreads rating: 3.21

Paperback, Published in Mar 2012 by Vintage

ISBN10: 0099555832 | ISBN13: 9780099555834

Page count: 316

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline--think Buddenbrooks set in the Florida Everglades--and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor known as the "World of Darkness."

Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve-year-old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief. Her mother, Swamplandia!’s legendary headliner, has just died; her sister is having an affair with a ghost called the Dredgeman; her brother has secretly defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their sinking family afloat; and her father, Chief Bigtree, is AWOL. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the "Underworld," a harrowing odyssey from which she emerges a true heroine.

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