A chat with Karen Russell

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Check out Rumpus contributor Maddie Oatman’s recent interview with Karen Russell.

Russell and Oatman discuss her Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel Swamplandia!, as well as topics ranging from the imagination, vampires, and what kind of horse Mitt Romney would be.

MJ: What do you think poses the biggest threat to our imaginations?

KR: People really get myopic as they get older. We’re not a culture that encourages dreaming or distraction. We’re not ever good at just being. I remember reading some Adrienne Rich quote where she talks about how important it was just to watch bubbles rise in a glass.

Oatman’s interview offers readers insight into Russell as a writer and a window into the Everglades of Russell’s imagination.


Pat Johnson is currently working on his master’s in Fiction Writing at San Francisco State University, and is the owner and editor of the satirical news website The New Porker. When Pat’s not reading or writing he’s likely squeezing a lime into a Tecate and headed to the dance floor. He also creates short films, documentaries, and sketch comedies. Pat is completing his first novel, The Virgin and Marilyn Monroe, and writing a book of Creative Non-Fiction short stories. More from this author →