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Karen Russell, author portrait
© Dan Hawk

Karen Russell

Karen Russell is the author of five books of fiction, including the NYT bestsellers Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove. She is a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the recipient of two National Magazine Awards for Fiction, the NYPL's Young Lions Award, the National Book Foundation's 5 under 35 award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the 2023 Bottari Lattes Grinzane prize, the 2024 Mary McCarthy Award, among other honors. With composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone and choreographer and director Troy Schumacher, she co-created The Night Falls, listed as one of the NYT's Best Dance Performances of 2023. She has taught literature and creative writing as a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of California-Irvine, Williams College, Columbia University, and Bryn Mawr College, and served as the Endowed Chair of Texas State’s MFA program. She serves on the board of Street Books, a mobile-library that creates a community of support for unhoused Portlanders. Born and raised in Miami, FL, she now lives in Portland, OR with her husband, son, and daughter.