Books

Karen Russell on Ghost Stories in the Grove: "In Miami, Doesn't It Always Feel Like Halloween?"

Karen Russell writes some of the scariest, most haunting stories around. The 32-year-old also happens to be from Miami, of course. So we thought we'd take a moment on Halloween -- the most terrifying day of the year -- to ask her how local ghosts and ghouls shaped her literary career.

"In Miami, doesn't it always feel like Halloween?" she said with a laugh. "Nothing is really flagged for you as a kid as any more strange than any other thing because it's all getting narrated in this one register. So it's like, uh, a tropical storm rained tarantulas down on US-1. Or The Mango Strut parade, you know, with a man with an orange on his head wandering around in tights. Then it's school time. Time to learn fractions!"

Click through to read our complete Halloween interview with Russell, including her fear that dead bodies will crawl out of the Grove like crabs.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.