Karen Russell and Lisa Zeidner
Authors Lisa Zeidner (Love Bomb) and Karen Russell (Swamplandia!) came together to read and discuss their writing.
About Love Bomb:
This is not your typical wedding story. Instead, imagine a less deadly combination of Fatal Attraction and, let’s say, Munich. It is Tess’s wedding day and she is getting married in her childhood home in a simple ceremony hosted by her mother, Helen. Thunderstorms were the only possible threat, and the guests have moved inside. When they turn, expecting the bridal march, they behold a bride—not Tess—dressed in a strapless gown with white lace, and finished off with a World War II gas mask and steel-toe boots. In lieu of a bouquet, she carries a sawed-off shotgun.
Lisa Zeidner’s Love Bomb unfolds as a classic hostage scenario, if the hostage taker has slung a bomb trigger over a wedding gown (Modern Bride meets Solider of Fortune) and the hostages are comprised largely of mental healthcare professionals, most of whom could call in a Thorazine script or process a committal right on the spot.
One by one, the guests share their stories in apologies addressed to the terrorist bride, in hopes that one of them will correctly guess her grievances, assuage their own guilt, and earn her forgiveness, if not also their liberty. Not even the SWAT team, when they finally arrive, could have predicted her identity and her demands. As Rafael Yglesias, author of A Happy Marriage, puts it, “If Jane Austen had lived to witness post–9/11 society, Lisa Zeidner’s witty and terrifying comedy of manners is what she would have written. It’sbrilliant, funny, and scary.”
Lisa Zeidner has published four novels, including the critically acclaimedLayover, and two books of poems. Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, GQ, Tin House, and elsewhere. She directs the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey.
Karen Russell’s debut novel, Swamplandia!, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2011,” and was long-listed for The Orange Prize. Russell has been featured in The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list, and was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. In 2009, she received the “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Formerly a writer-in-residence at Bard College and Bryn Mawr College, she is the recipient of the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Berlin Prize and was awarded a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. Russell is also the author of the celebrated short-story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Knopf, September 2006). Her next novel, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, will be published by Knopf in January 2013. Russell received her B.A. from Northwestern University in 2003, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2006.