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Monster She Wrote Lisa Kroger Melanie R Anderson Main

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

Written by Mary Kay McBrayer

Published by Quirk Books

monster she wrote lisa kroger melanie r anderson large

Written by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
2019, 352 pages, Reference
Released on September 17th, 2019

Review:

This compendium of the women who crafted the genres of horror and speculative fiction (which we know and love!) will fuel the conversation for all the guests worth impressing at any cocktail party. In Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, authors Lisa Kröger (Lost Highways, 2018, etc.) and Melanie R. Anderson (English/Delta State University; Spectrality in the Novels of Toni Morrison, 2013, etc.) have created a timeline of notable women authors in the genre, from the known founders like Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to the fresher hells of Carmen Maria Machado.

The book itself is beautiful, marked with illustrations that work as inside jokes for those familiar with the texts they reference, and each author has her own section detailing her importance and the content of her work. This text is perfect for those looking to expand their knowledge of women-in-horror writing, and it rewards the well-versed both by confirming what they already know and recommending the next good read, whether classic or contemporary. Though Monster, She Wrote can be read chronologically, for those looking for specific topics, the authors also chunk the list into parts titled for content, like “The Founding Mothers” and “Haunting Tales.” Each author that Kröger and Anderson mention also gets her own epithet, like “The Original Goth Girl” for Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley or “Queen of the Damned” for Anne Rice, which makes this book easy for the reader to dip into when s/he wants something new yet specific. I was particularly excited to see new biographical details of some favorite authors, like Shirley Jackson—did you know she was somewhat reclusive, like the Blackwoods in We Have Always Lived in the Castle? And I loved the historical genre information about, for example, the tradition of Christmas ghost stories perpetuated by Elizabeth Gaskell, or the fact that Dungeons and Dragons fans love Margaret St. Clair’s work even though they might not know it. It’s a true testament to the authors’ knowledge.

This book is perfect for those looking to add new and old reads to their repertoire, though because of the number of authors included, details on each are brief, often intentionally leaving the reader to thirst for more.

Grades:

Overall: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK

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