The Wilds by Julia Elliott


Teetering between the ridiculous and the sublime, The Wilds blends Southern gothic strangeness with dystopian absurdities, sci-fi speculations, and fairy-tale transformations.

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Our Bookseller says:

Ah, little lad, I see you’re staring at my fingers. Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of sci-fi and southern gothic? These fingers have veins that run straight to the soul of man. Before picking up The Wilds I thought these fingers, dear hearts, was always a-warrin’ and a-tuggin’, one agin t’other.

But Julia Elliott showed me the light.

Her freaky genre fusion, bound by confident and self-assured prose, is an intensely atmospheric read that — not unlike the bodies she writes about — transcends the sum of its parts.

Have you ever sat on a farmhouse porch in the humid early evening, drinking overly sweet tea as a summer storm rolls in? The Wilds feels a lot like that: electric, uncomfortable, and full of potential. – Terry

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.
The Wilds by Julia Elliott
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