Whenever the dull carapace of cliché seems to swallow the world, I reach for Lucy Corin’s books and the violent magic of her storytelling. Here is a writer light years ahead of her time returning to explore the recent past of our ongoing American crises. The Swank Hotel is premonitory and grief-stricken and somehow gregarious in its lonesomeness, so generous in its weird humor and waterfalling surprises. In her capacious vision, the ‘rattlesnakes of madness’ twine through a world of starter homes and desktop screensavers, crushing debt and missing sisters, a cruel, bewildering America where the runestones of love and home can still, miraculously, make sense of us.

— Karen Russell

Lucy Corin is the author of the novel The Swank Hotel, as well as the story collections One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses and The Entire Predicament, and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Harper’s Magazine, Ploughshares, Bomb, Tin House Magazine, and the New American Stories anthology from Vintage Contemporaries. She is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at the University of California at Davis and lives in Berkeley.

Images: Jessica Eve Rattner


Chicago Review of Books

On their October “must read” list with some nice words. (Pls take “must” with a grain of salt, readers, no one can read this much.)

Oral Florist, Rita Bullwinkle

My contribution to Rita Bullwinkle’s gorgeous Oral Florist project is called Coral Castle. I listen to these to help me calm down for sleep.