Turns Out Brilliant Writing Runs in Karen Russell’s Family

Evidence: Her brother Kent’s amazing new collection of nonfiction.


I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son
By Kent Russell
KNOPF

Halfway through his engrossing book of essays and reportage, I realized Kent Russell was the kid brother of Swamplandia author Karen Russell, and then it all made sense: the hilariously dysfunctional Florida family. The language you can chew on. Russell’s characters shoal along walls or “move about like a violent decision.” His own small hands are “furtive-looking” and his feet are “a hindrance, dry-land flippers.” When he’s not psychoanalyzing friends and relations (or himself), he’s off communing with various lunatics. He attends a mass gathering of Juggalos (the mostly poor, white, and highly perverse followers of the band Insane Clown Posse). He tracks down a legendary hockey enforcer—Russell is obsessed with the sport—in Nova Scotia. He powwows with guys who dose themselves with snake venom or squat near-deserted islands. All you need do is grip your armrests and live vicariously.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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