Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, November 2, 2017

“Dougbert Shackleton’s Rules for Antarctic Tailgating” - A Short Story by Karen Russell (2013, in Vampires in the Lemon Grove and other Stories, 20

Karen Russell on The Reading Life - includes Links to several short stories

Karen Russell is the author of Swamplandia, and two highly regarded collections of short stories, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Vampires in the Lemon Grove.  I have posted upon eight of her short stories and her Novella, Sleep Donations.  Obviously I greatly enjoy and admire her work.  Today’s story, first published in Tin in Spring, 2010,  is a very funny story making use of The character of the famous anartic explorer Dougbert Shackelton in a delightfully comic fashion.

The story is narrated by Shackelton, he is telling us about contests between various species of wholes and near microscopic krill, their normal food.  He is explaining How one would, circa 1900 or so go about having a tailgate party to watch them.  It is sort of a satire on contemporary tailgate parties.  It takes about two years and if you are to have any hope of surviving you need to follow his eleven rules.

This story is fun and entertaining, maybe it is not among her best but that is ok.

Karen Russell, a native of Miami, won the 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2012 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Russell is also the author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories, and Sleep Donation: A Novella. She lives in Philadelphia. - from the website of Penguin Random House

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

Not every story has to be "the best", I agree. And, then again, sometimes one reader's "fine" story is another reader's "great" story!