St Lucy's Home For Girls Raised by Wolves is reminiscent of the subtle magic realism of Kevin Brockmeier and in some ways of Flannery O'Connor (listed as one of her influences) in Russell's appreciation of the Southern gothic settings of Florida's swamplands. Most of these tales are set in lush backwater towns, filled with mythic creatures where precocious children observe the odd rituals of adults and older siblings, trying their best to comprehend and survive. Here a tough 12 year old girl wrestles alligators for tourists and saves her older sister from her nightly romps in the swamp with a succubus; two young brothers, wearing three-d glasses that allow them to see ghosts, search stagnant lagoons in search of the ghost of their drowned sister; and packs of wild girls raised by wolf parents are gathered into dormitories where they must be forced to shed their raucous and gleefully wolfish natures and become domesticated young women (with very mixed results). It's a stunning collection of original stories, and I look forward to Russell's new novel, Swamplandia! which is coming out in February, 2010.