Monster, she wrote The women who pioneered horror & speculative fiction

Lisa Kröger

Book - 2019

Weird fiction wouldn't exist without the women who created it. Meet the female authors who defied convention to craft some of literature's strangest tales. And find out why their own stories are equally intriguing. Monster, She Wrote shares the stories of women past and present who invented horror, speculative, and weird fiction and made it great. You'll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V.C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today's vangu...ard (Helen Oyeyemi). And each profile includes a curated reading list so you can seek out the spine-chilling tales that interest you the most.

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Subjects
Published
Philadelphia : Quirk Books [2019]
Language
English
Physical Description
319 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 296-310) and indexes.
ISBN
9781683691389
1683691385
Main Author
Lisa Kröger (author)
Other Authors
Melanie Anderson (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Some you knew, others you missed, and some you weren't aware existed. Monster, She Wrote an ideal adjacent read for those who loved Mallory O'Meara's The Lady from the Black Lagoon (2019). Kröger and Anderson's superb little directory covers women authors of the gory and fantastic, past and present. Each author is placed into a section that best fits her most innovative work, and each entry is an informative treatise on what she wrote, her lasting influence, and how she touches the horror we know and love today. A chapter on current writers looks to the future, and is in direct conversation with the zeitgeist that the authors tap into on their podcast "The Know Fear Cast." Sprinkled liberally throughout are more reads related to each entry, lists, anecdotes, and favorite quotes. Librarians can use this volume to flex their creepy-reads credibility, as the suggestions alone for related works, movies, and TV series are worth the price of admission. Straddling the divide between highly useful reference and compulsively readable stories about the writing lives of the women of horror, this book will keep you up all night (one way or another). Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Weird fiction wouldn't exist without the women who created it. Meet the female authors who defied convention to craft some of literature's strangest tales. And find out why their own stories are equally intriguing. Monster, She Wrote shares the stories of women past and present who invented horror, speculative, and weird fiction and made it great. You'll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V.C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today's vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). And eachprofile includes a curated reading list so you can seek out the spine-chilling tales that interest you the most.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond. Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.