20 Under 40: A Comprehensive (Subjective) Guide
Karen Russell, “The Dredgeman’s Revelation,” July 26:
It’s unclear whether this is part of a bigger novel or not. Russell has one coming soon on February 1, called Swamplandia! That would seem to be the obvious source, but in the New Yorker Q&A she seems to suggest that this is separate from the book, calling it “a little story within the story.”
Anyway, I really liked this one. It’s a cousin to Bynum’s “Erlking” in its horrifying ending, but before it gets there it’s a slow, easy story about a likeable boy, unfortunately named Louis Thanksgiving, that runs away from home and finds work as a dredgeman in a Florida swamp. He bonds with the other men (he’s by far the youngest) and also annoys them by always being cheerful and excited, while they’re all cynical and resentful of the difficult work.
Louis is very endearing and that helps the story, along with Russell’s quirky humor and strange, exciting setting. But the ending. Wow. Vultures appear above the boat: “the birds descended on Gideon and hooked the prongs of their talons into his skin; perhaps a dozen of them lifted him into the sky. Gid’s body shrank into the cloudless expanse.” Russell noted in the Q&A a “Hitchcockian” feel, and she’s damn right. It’s terrific, and makes this one of the most memorable stories in the series.
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Wear as little as you want. Don’t worry about having the perfect beach body, as such as thing could never exist, and your body is just fine at the beach as it is.
…A Smith Corona electric SL-580 typewriter, to be precise.
Geeks are the bones of every high school. Not because they’re busy getting stuffed in lockers, but because they’re the only ones who aren’t pretending. Everyone else is pretending.
You can accomplish the majority of your cleaning with one natural/organic all-in-one soap for a fraction of the cost and without bringing all those awful chemicals into your home.