The Virago Book of Ghost Stories

Richard Dalby, Editor McGraw-Hill Companies $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-07-015132-1
The British anthologist gathers savory tales of the supernatural by 34 first-rate female authors, ranging chronologically from Edith Wharton and E. Nesbit to Fay Weldon and Angela Carter. Nearly every entry captivates, whether comfortably old-fashioned weavings of classic foggy nights, lonely governesses and tragic romances, or sophisticated psychological studies of alienation, grief and passion. From the collection as a whole emerge distinctly female uses of the supernatural. Ghosts function as the disembodied anger of the powerless: the spirits of wronged wives and lovers return to avenge old injustices. The greatest terror is that of lossthe death of a child, the parting from a sister, the defection of a lover. And women's sensitivity to such abandonment isolates them still furtherthe heroines of these pieces are thought to be mad when they report sightings of ghosts. Several contemporary stories are more explicitly feminist: the spirits of one dilapidated house possess a tenant and drive her to forsake writing for cleaning; another abode wreaks havoc on a bullying husband's too dearly cherished belongings. BOMC/Mystery Book Club selection. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-1-84408-159-2
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-84408-538-5
Hardcover - 978-0-07-015133-8
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