Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, has spent the last decade as a production manager with Astroseal Products, a lightning protection manufacturer located just east of Killingworth, CT. Outside of work, John Sulzbach enjoys reading novels, including Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! is the debut novel by fiction writer Karen Russell. Released in 2011, the novel followed on the heels of Russell’s well-received short story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of the Bigtree family, operators of a Floridian, alligator-themed tourist attraction, as they deal with the death of their matriarch and the subsequent business failings.

The novel, which has been described as comic magical realism, received a glowing review from The New York Times and was later named by the magazine as one of the 10 best works of fiction of 2011. Swamplandia! was one of three finalists for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, though ultimately no award was given that year. The book also became a finalist for inaugural 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

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