I’m a big fan of The New Yorker. I take the entire week between issues to slowly digest the current one. The 20 Under 40 feature this week (July 26, 2010) is by Karen Russell. The New Yorker is highlighting twenty up-and-coming authors under forty years of age.
It’s been a hit and miss series of stories for me, but this week, Karen Russell wrote a compelling little piece about Louis Thanksgiving and his time on a dredger in the swamps of Florida. He’s a very real, 3-dimensional person she’s written here–where I tend to lean with my tastes.
As I’ve begun to write more about what I read, I realize that I’m reading for the characters, I become a fan of the characters rather than a fan of the book. If you can create a thick, sink-your-teeth-into, real person, I’m in.
Think: Prince by Ib Michael, Think: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Think The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, Think: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
That’s where my literary tastes lie. And The Dredgeman’s Revelation definitely fits. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Karen Russell’s new contribution to the New Yorker and also try to find her two published works: Swamplandia! and St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (great titles!).