*BuzzFeed Books names The Wilds one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2014
*The Wilds is on Book Riot’s Best of 2014 list
*The Wilds is a New York Times Editors’ Choice
*The Wilds is on Electric Literature’s list “25 Best Short Story Collections of 2014″
“Elliott makes us hear contemporary English in a new way.”
—The New York Times Book Review (read full review)
“The debut collection from Pushcart Prize–winning Elliott is a brilliant combination of emotion and grime, wit and horror. . . . Elliott’s gift of vernacular is remarkable, and her dark, modern spin on Southern Gothic creates tales that surprise, shock, and sharply depict vice and virtue.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (read full review)
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. Published by Tin House Books.
Cover illustration by Catrin Welz-Stein.