Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction

Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson. Quirk, $19.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-68369-138-9
Kröger and Anderson anthologize the histories of horror’s greatest female writers into this meticulously compiled resource. Covering over three dozen writers, the coauthors reveal the experiences, whether with mysticism, trauma, or societal repression, that defined their subjects and led them toward the macabre. Kröger and Anderson describe the flamboyant public persona of pioneering feminist and science fiction writer Margaret Cavendish, the “stormy vacation” that inspired Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, the proto-Wiccan musings of Dion Fortune’s occult detective stories, and the wellspring of creativity that “weird Western” writer Eli Colter found in a period of temporary blindness. Most significantly, the genre of horror is explored as a medium for “psychological excavations into how humanity sees itself,” in which a ghost might function as a “metaphorical mirror for what was already haunting the character.” In addition to the analysis and history of these writers, Kröger and Anderson offer a list of essential readings from, and film adaptations of, each woman’s work. This biographical index will reawaken readers’ admiration for established virtuosos of literary terror and inspire curiosity in lesser-known specialists in fictitious fear. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/19/2019
Release date: 09/17/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-0940-2986-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-0940-2985-6
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