Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Conversations from the Cullman Center: Rivka Galchen and Karen Russell

June 3, 2014

Viewing videos on requires Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher.

Get the Flash plugin from


Copy the embed code below to add this video to your site, blog, or profile.

This program was copresented with LIVE from the NYPL.

The fiction writers Rivka Galchen and Karen Russell, whose most recent book is Vampires in the Lemon Grove, talk about Galchen’s new collection of stories, American Innovations.

Rivka Galchen is the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including The Believer, Scientific American, Zoetrope, BOMB, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker, where many of the stories in her new collection, American Innovations, first appeared. Among other distinctions, she has received a William Saroyan International Prize for Fiction Writing and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University.

Karen Russell is the author of two collections of stories, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and one novel, Swamplandia!, a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She has received many awards, including, in 2013, a five-year fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Best American Short Stories, The Oxford American, The New Yorker, GQ and Zoetrope. She has taught at Columbia, Bryn Mawr, NYU, and The University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop.

Galchen and Russell were in the same class of fellows at the Cullman Center in 2009-2010. In 2010, they were both named by The New Yorker as among “20 Under 40” American fiction writers to watch.