The Wilds

The Wilds

3.81 (801 ratings by Goodreads)
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At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend's weird grandmother. These are only a few of the scenarios readers encounter in Julia Elliott's debut collection The Wilds. In her genre-bending stories, Elliott blends Southern gothic strangeness with dystopian absurdities, sci-fi speculations with fairy-tale transformations. Teetering between the ridiculous and the sublime, Elliott's language-driven fiction uses outlandish tropes to capture poignant moments in her humble characters' lives. Without abandoning the tenets of classic storytelling, Elliott revels in lush lyricism, dark humor, and experimental play.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 370 pages
  • 130 x 201 x 28mm | 408g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1935639927
  • 9781935639923
  • 464,809

Review quote

"Julia Elliott's magical debut collection, "The Wilds", brings together some of the most original, hilarious, and mind-bending stories written in the last two decades. She journeys deep into mythic terrains with an explorer's courage and a savant's wit, and the reports she sends back from imagination's hinterlands are charged with a vernacular that crackles with insight. Angela Carter, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell are similar visionaries in the short story form, but Elliott is very much her own irrepressible voice--and it's one well worth heeding. "The Wilds" is simply a milestone achievement."
--Bradford Morrow, author of "The Uninnocent"

"Julia Elliott's stories--which thrive beautifully somewhere between the lyrically haunting works of Barry Hannah and the retrospective works of Lewis Nordan--offer nothing but the great, beautiful, dark regions of the human heart. These are stories to be cherished, taught, and brooded upon. These are stories in which to bathe oneself."
--George Singleton, author of "Stray Decorum"
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About Julia Elliott

Julia Elliott's fiction has appeared in "Tin House," the "Georgia Review," "Conjunctions," "Fence," "Puerto del Sol," "Mississippi Review," "Best American Fantasy," and other publications. She has won a Pushcart Prize and a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award. Her novel "The New and Improved Romie Futch" will be published by Tin House Books in 2015, and she is currently working on a novel about Hamadryas baboons, a species that she has studied as an amateur primatologist. She teaches English and women's and gender studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she lives with her daughter and husband. She and her spouse, John Dennis, are founding members of Grey Egg, an experimental music collective.
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Rating details

801 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 25% (199)
4 41% (328)
3 26% (210)
2 7% (53)
1 1% (11)
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