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

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

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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction PDF, ePub eBook 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 arch 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.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    Well, this was only my second time reading a nonfiction book about the origins of horror and I must say that this was a lot of fun. I learned a lot, I took notes and I have a bunch of books I'd like to look for the next time I'm a secondhand bookstore. Currently writing my review for Scream Mag and it will be published this October 2019 I will say that horror fans looking for some Gothic Lit or some dark, obscure reads that probably inspired modern horror writers, should pick this up!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Will I ever tire of books about books? (Answer: no.) This one was great fun, and was a pleasant reminder of my favourite course during my English Lit undergrad, on the Female Gothic. It's a very brief overview, but I found the selections interesting, and I've added several new books to my to-read list. The more modern selections had some strange omissions (no Hotel World by Ali Smith? No Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel? No Amelia Gray or Camilla Grudova?) and focused on some lightweight YA authors Will I ever tire of books about books? (Answer: no.) This one was great fun, and was a pleasant reminder of my favourite course during my English Lit undergrad, on the Female Gothic. It's a very brief overview, but I found the selections interesting, and I've added several new books to my to-read list. The more modern selections had some strange omissions (no Hotel World by Ali Smith? No Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel? No Amelia Gray or Camilla Grudova?) and focused on some lightweight YA authors when it would have made more sense to focus on literary authors who are writing great and unusual books while also really engaging with the topics mentioned. But still, I really enjoyed it, and would have happily read it at twice the length.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    I’m not the biggest nonfiction fan in the world but this has everything I love! Awesome info about horror and speculative fiction women writers, cool and creepy drawings, and all around interesting! Plus it had me by having the word monster in the title!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gizem-in-Wonderland

    This book has been created with the idea of bringing together all the dark queens of literature. I am completely clueless when it comes to genres of horror, gothic fiction, paranormal literature, ghost stories, and haunted environment and I wanted to learn about the most important/famous examples of these genres and it seemed a great starting point reading this book although it focuses only on women, which I believe is a good thing, since, behind most pseudonyms used in literature, there is a wom This book has been created with the idea of bringing together all the dark queens of literature. I am completely clueless when it comes to genres of horror, gothic fiction, paranormal literature, ghost stories, and haunted environment and I wanted to learn about the most important/famous examples of these genres and it seemed a great starting point reading this book although it focuses only on women, which I believe is a good thing, since, behind most pseudonyms used in literature, there is a woman trying to hide her real identity as a writer. This unique collection of female authors, who have written unconventional stories, and their most prominent works and masterpieces are listed under special categories such as ghost stories, haunted homes, vampires, horror and speculative fiction. It is great to read their life journey and how it shaped the way they write about such unusual topics. Female authors are often expected to be creative in romantic love stories and the examples in this book display the shocking fact that women can be as intense and unconventional as men when it comes to supernatural phenomena, suspense and horror, ghost stories and haunted houses, gore, and murder, violence, and erotism and paranormal activities. However, it is not easy to be accepted in society and publish your works since you're supposed to be all elegant and fragile as a woman(!). These brave women push the boundaries of society and dance beautifully around gender roles. A great read for the lovers of the related literature and even though I do not really fancy the genre, I have enjoyed it and learned a lot. The only downside is my TBR list has skyrocketed. (I have received an ARC from Quirk Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liesl

    An exceptional compendium of female authors within the horror and speculative fiction genres. I have recently become more interested in exploring books within these fields during the last few years, especially after completing a reader's advisory training on horror last month, and this book has served to further fuel this curiosity. Authors are included from the 1600s through present day, covering a wide variety of topics related to the genres; I like how essential titles from each author are hi An exceptional compendium of female authors within the horror and speculative fiction genres. I have recently become more interested in exploring books within these fields during the last few years, especially after completing a reader's advisory training on horror last month, and this book has served to further fuel this curiosity. Authors are included from the 1600s through present day, covering a wide variety of topics related to the genres; I like how essential titles from each author are highlighted within the reading lists and that the related work sections serve as a way to mention additional writers of interest. The introductions of each group of writers are informative and occasionally amusing, and I like how the book's authors explore the future of the genres as well as break down the antiquated notion that these types of stories are solely the territory of male writers. Kröger and Anderson have clearly done a vast amount of research that I fully appreciate and I will definitely be buying this book to use as a reference to direct my future reading. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mish

    I loved reading this (uncorrected) prepub. I'm so excited for it to come out of edits and into published form, because I want to see the afterwords and bibliographies and etc. (Yes, Nerd + Librarian present and accounted for, thanks!) I really enjoyed all the information, and I'm amazed at the breadth of writing represented here. Definitely looking forward to the published version! N.B. I got this as part of a shipment of prepubs & arcs to my place of work, so there was not even a need for this I loved reading this (uncorrected) prepub. I'm so excited for it to come out of edits and into published form, because I want to see the afterwords and bibliographies and etc. (Yes, Nerd + Librarian present and accounted for, thanks!) I really enjoyed all the information, and I'm amazed at the breadth of writing represented here. Definitely looking forward to the published version! N.B. I got this as part of a shipment of prepubs & arcs to my place of work, so there was not even a need for this review, I just felt strongly enough to leave one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bex Wiles

    "These genres of fiction are instruments with which women writers can shake up society and prod readers in an uncomfortable direction... It's no surprise that women's fiction focuses on voice and visibility. Women might be told to be quiet, but they still speak up." Monster, She Wrote is a refreshing and interesting overview of many female writers of the wider horror genre. It profiles the more well-known writers (Mary Shelley and Anne Rice), as well as many who have been influential but are in d "These genres of fiction are instruments with which women writers can shake up society and prod readers in an uncomfortable direction... It's no surprise that women's fiction focuses on voice and visibility. Women might be told to be quiet, but they still speak up." Monster, She Wrote is a refreshing and interesting overview of many female writers of the wider horror genre. It profiles the more well-known writers (Mary Shelley and Anne Rice), as well as many who have been influential but are in danger of being forgotten. This is an excellent guide: I would recommend getting it in print as opposed to a digital copy, as it is a book that you would want to revisit for reference. It is accessible to a wide audience, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lacy

    I received an ARC of this through GoodReads giveaways. I already had this on on my want-to-read list, but I'm really glad I had a chance to read it in advance of the release date. I have to say, that there are very few books that I read as soon as I get them, but the design of this book is so fantastic (including the wonderful illustrations throughout) that I couldn't resist opening it up and taking a peek. And once I did, I just kept reading. This book serves as an informative and entertaining t I received an ARC of this through GoodReads giveaways. I already had this on on my want-to-read list, but I'm really glad I had a chance to read it in advance of the release date. I have to say, that there are very few books that I read as soon as I get them, but the design of this book is so fantastic (including the wonderful illustrations throughout) that I couldn't resist opening it up and taking a peek. And once I did, I just kept reading. This book serves as an informative and entertaining timeline of women writers of horror and speculative fiction. Not only does it give insight into these women's lives and work, it provides a look at their influences and inspirations. The book takes readers from The Founding Mothers to The Future of Horror and Speculative Fiction, covering the strange, Gothic, haunting, horrific, weird, and everything in between. If you're a fan of women writing spine-tingling tales of any variety, I would definitely recommend Monster, She Wrote. I'm going to have a list of books, stories, and new-to-me authors to check out now that I've made it through this delightful look at women, both past and present, who have innovated dark fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leah Rachel von Essen

    "Perhaps the weirdest tale," write Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson in MONSTER, SHE WROTE: THE WOMEN WHO PIONEERED HORROR & SPECULATIVE FICTION, "is how we've managed to forget the women who created such amazing stories." This incredible book gave me a reading list 30 books long. Despite knowing more about feminist speculative fiction than the average person, I knew very few of the authors referenced in this book, which outlines the long history of women writers and authors in the horror "Perhaps the weirdest tale," write Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson in MONSTER, SHE WROTE: THE WOMEN WHO PIONEERED HORROR & SPECULATIVE FICTION, "is how we've managed to forget the women who created such amazing stories." This incredible book gave me a reading list 30 books long. Despite knowing more about feminist speculative fiction than the average person, I knew very few of the authors referenced in this book, which outlines the long history of women writers and authors in the horror genre, including many queer women (I was especially excited about the classics and classical authors that turned out to be queer—did you know Daphne du Maurier was queer, for example? I didn't!). This book is a great way to expand your to-read shelf. I plan to go out and buy a ton of these to tackle in October. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. MONSTER, SHE WROTE is out September 17.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emmy

    This was a really fun book. If you're interested in learning about classics of the horror genre, especially ones that might have been overlooked, then this book is an excellent starting point. Just as every reader has their own specific interests, this book is perfectly tailored to help the horror reader find titles more in their preferred sub-genre. For example, I was completely drooling over the Gothic novels section! The best part of the book is that not only does it highlight a whole slew of This was a really fun book. If you're interested in learning about classics of the horror genre, especially ones that might have been overlooked, then this book is an excellent starting point. Just as every reader has their own specific interests, this book is perfectly tailored to help the horror reader find titles more in their preferred sub-genre. For example, I was completely drooling over the Gothic novels section! The best part of the book is that not only does it highlight a whole slew of authors, but it also gives recommendations, including titles that are MUST READS, those that also come highly recommended, and supplementary materials by different authors (both male and female), and even by other artists, such as films and TV shows, to give the reader a whole host of terrifying entertainment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    edh

    "[a] superb little directory [covering] women authors of the gory and fantastic, past and present." ⭐review in Booklist 6/1/19! Read my review here: https://www.booklistonline.com/Monste...

  12. 5 out of 5

    J Earl

    Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction from Lisa Kroger and Melanie R Anderson is a fun and quick introduction to not just the pioneers but the history of women writers in the genre(s). This isn't written as an actual history since it focuses on the writers themselves rather than creating a coherent and comprehensive narrative. I think this works better for a light popular introduction. This is not even remotely an academic book but it does do much more than ju Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction from Lisa Kroger and Melanie R Anderson is a fun and quick introduction to not just the pioneers but the history of women writers in the genre(s). This isn't written as an actual history since it focuses on the writers themselves rather than creating a coherent and comprehensive narrative. I think this works better for a light popular introduction. This is not even remotely an academic book but it does do much more than just provide a reading guide. An academic work would potentially get bogged down in the minutiae of creating a complete timeline without gaps while a reading guide would have focused on the works rather than the authors. There is certainly connections made between authors as well as between works, which does provide some history without getting trapped into making a narrative. After discussing each writer, reading suggestions are made both for that author as well as similar writers and works, usually from the same time period. The last section looks forward and speculates about what the future holds. This is a fun section as well as possibly introducing some new names. Like any list, and this is essentially a long annotated list, there will be writers we would have preferred to have seen included as well as ones we question their inclusion. That is part of what makes lists fun since there is no definitive way to claim a name "should" or "should not" have been included, well, unless we think we are THE authority on the subject. If any of us are that delusional, then maybe instead of reading this fun book you should write your own since your authority is certainly acknowledged by all, right? Okay, maybe not, talk to your therapist. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes to read in the genre(s) and might want some background on the writers of the past, present, and future. Whether a couple of your degrees are in this area or you simply enjoy knowing literary history, this book should remind you of much you've likely forgotten and offer some new tidbits as well as reading suggestions. Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Though I probably would not have picked this selection up at a bookstore, I was still pretty excited to read it after receiving an advance copy through a Goodreads giveaway. I've leaned a bit more into the horror/thriller genres lately, and since I can be pretty picky about which types of these stories I like I was looking forward to getting some more authors and titles on my to-read list. And on that front, I was not disappointed. The book covered even more authors than I expected, and the orga Though I probably would not have picked this selection up at a bookstore, I was still pretty excited to read it after receiving an advance copy through a Goodreads giveaway. I've leaned a bit more into the horror/thriller genres lately, and since I can be pretty picky about which types of these stories I like I was looking forward to getting some more authors and titles on my to-read list. And on that front, I was not disappointed. The book covered even more authors than I expected, and the organization by genre was helpful in discerning which sections I'd be more interested in. I think there were almost a few too many authors discussed though; with so many women covered in each section, it was hard to internalize and remember all of them. I wanted a deeper dive into some of the authors, and I think the sections could've been better edited to include fewer authors with more information. The suggested reading lists at the end of each author's section (which were great) seemed like a good spot to include those women whose sections were a bit sparse. But overall, I enjoyed this book for both the entertainment it gave as well as the history I learned from it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    I only gave this three stars, because it was really more of a reading guide rather than a book. (Still counts for my end of year tally though.) I learned a ton about the history of the horror genre. It is so much more than gratuitous violence and pulpy gore. The book starts off with the women writers of the 1600s and 1700s who crafted the genre, moves into haunted houses, vampirism, spiritualism and the occult, and ends with a forward-looking chapter about contemporary writers taking the genre i I only gave this three stars, because it was really more of a reading guide rather than a book. (Still counts for my end of year tally though.) I learned a ton about the history of the horror genre. It is so much more than gratuitous violence and pulpy gore. The book starts off with the women writers of the 1600s and 1700s who crafted the genre, moves into haunted houses, vampirism, spiritualism and the occult, and ends with a forward-looking chapter about contemporary writers taking the genre in new and different ways. I abhor horror movies, but horror fiction seems like I could handle it. Especially the way that the authors describe some of the more famous horror writers' styles--super dark magical realist essentially. And I had the same response reading theses synopses as I did when reading Circe. There is something intensely morbid reading about these supernatural/magical/mythical/horrifying tales, something very very satisfying about a narratively perfect twist. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have so much on my to-read list now...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "There seems to be an unspoken assumption that women aren’t interested in horror and speculative fiction, despite ample evidence of the opposite (p. 269)." Monster, She Wrote provides this ample evidence. It is fantastic overview of women writers throughout history that have made their marks in the weird fictions. I am not a big horror reader so this book was a great exploration into genre. The horror writers I am familiar with are majority men so it was wonderful to read about new to me authors "There seems to be an unspoken assumption that women aren’t interested in horror and speculative fiction, despite ample evidence of the opposite (p. 269)." Monster, She Wrote provides this ample evidence. It is fantastic overview of women writers throughout history that have made their marks in the weird fictions. I am not a big horror reader so this book was a great exploration into genre. The horror writers I am familiar with are majority men so it was wonderful to read about new to me authors that I may not have read about in the past. I absolutely recommend this book. My TBR has definitely expanded by 27 stories! Also RIP to Toni Morrison who was represented in this book, before her passing, with her story Beloved. Thank you Netgalley and Quirk Books for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    emily grace

    I hadn’t heard of this book until I received an arc of it at this year’s Bookcon, and I am SO happy I did! I have been a huge horror/mystery fan my whole life, so this was right up my alley. Plus, I will never get tired of reading about incredibly talented women who create, change, and redefine our history and culture. This book was a real treat. Whether reading about one of my favorites or discovering brand new authors, this book was full of fun facts and tons of great recommendations. It even I hadn’t heard of this book until I received an arc of it at this year’s Bookcon, and I am SO happy I did! I have been a huge horror/mystery fan my whole life, so this was right up my alley. Plus, I will never get tired of reading about incredibly talented women who create, change, and redefine our history and culture. This book was a real treat. Whether reading about one of my favorites or discovering brand new authors, this book was full of fun facts and tons of great recommendations. It even inspired me to do further research into some of (what I found to be) the more interesting authors and definitely added a lot of new books to my TBR. All around a very fun and fast read. If you love books about books, or books about amazing women who write books, I would definitely recommend checking with one out!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maisie Iven

    I was lucky enough to get a copy of the ARC at work and was so glad! This book was really enjoyable, and I felt like i kept trying to find other books like this and this was the first one to deliver. The book breaks down by category, then chronology, which was nice because you could track the evolution of horror/thriller/speculative fiction. This isn’t narrative nonfiction, which means it’s harder to read it in one go, but every few days I’d plow through a handful of female writers and found the I was lucky enough to get a copy of the ARC at work and was so glad! This book was really enjoyable, and I felt like i kept trying to find other books like this and this was the first one to deliver. The book breaks down by category, then chronology, which was nice because you could track the evolution of horror/thriller/speculative fiction. This isn’t narrative nonfiction, which means it’s harder to read it in one go, but every few days I’d plow through a handful of female writers and found the content and context was perfectly balanced! A perfect read for fans of horror or folks interested in literary history!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    This book gives a wonderful insight of female author's who have influenced the horror genre. The short biographies gave some insight into each author's lives as well as their most popular works. It's a shame that a lot of the influential female author's are left on the wayside for their male counterparts. I loved the insight and gained a lot more knowledge about the genre itself. I learned so much about the female author's that have influenced the genre to give me a deep appreciation for their w This book gives a wonderful insight of female author's who have influenced the horror genre. The short biographies gave some insight into each author's lives as well as their most popular works. It's a shame that a lot of the influential female author's are left on the wayside for their male counterparts. I loved the insight and gained a lot more knowledge about the genre itself. I learned so much about the female author's that have influenced the genre to give me a deep appreciation for their work. I received the advanced reader copy and I'm looking forward to reading the completed version.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lizabeth Tucker

    A collection of the best women who explored the various facets of horror over the centuries. Part biography and part reader's guide, this is a great reference for those who love horror as well as those who want to further explore female writers. Needless to say, my TBR list has grown exponentially. This is an ARC, the actual publication date is stated as September 17th. I picked it up at my neighboring library's monthly Book Swap, my eye falling on the title and immediately calling "dibs". Very p A collection of the best women who explored the various facets of horror over the centuries. Part biography and part reader's guide, this is a great reference for those who love horror as well as those who want to further explore female writers. Needless to say, my TBR list has grown exponentially. This is an ARC, the actual publication date is stated as September 17th. I picked it up at my neighboring library's monthly Book Swap, my eye falling on the title and immediately calling "dibs". Very pleased with the content, even with the multiple items still remaining to be inserted. Honestly, it is hard to write a review of a book like this, but what I will say is that I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the history of these writers as well as their "biggest hits". Should appeal to a wide number of readers. 4.5 out of 5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anglophile Bookworm

    A reader’s guide about the most prolific and lesser-known Gothic / horror women writers; from Mary Shelley and Ann Radcliffe to Anne Rice and Helen Oyeyemi. It offers you some biographical details and reading lists (not to be missed, also try and related work). There are some references to films and TV series related to the topic. If you like this genre, you must read this guide, it’s a great reference book! You’ll get lots of new titles for your TBR list. Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for a A reader’s guide about the most prolific and lesser-known Gothic / horror women writers; from Mary Shelley and Ann Radcliffe to Anne Rice and Helen Oyeyemi. It offers you some biographical details and reading lists (not to be missed, also try and related work). There are some references to films and TV series related to the topic. If you like this genre, you must read this guide, it’s a great reference book! You’ll get lots of new titles for your TBR list. Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for a copy of this book to read and review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Absolutely loved this book and I plan on buying a copy when the final edition is published. I know all there is to know about horror in movies, but when it comes to horror in literature my knowledge was lacking. Now there is so much I want to read and do further research on. It has the perfect blend of author info as well as the influence of their works and suggestions for other reading materials. I love a good book about books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    ***Thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*** For fans of horror and classical literature, this book gives an in-depth look into the monsters and the authors that wrote about them. I enjoyed learning more about gothic literature and was delighted that the recommended other books to read if you liked certain novels.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Fun and informative. Along with learning about several authors that I both had and had not heard of, I liked that the authors included information about their time periods as well. I've got plenty to add to my tbr list and I'm looking forward to starting my own Christmas ghost story tradition.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Haley McGough

    I love this book! I learned about so many new, to me, and important female writers. Kroger and Anderson have single-handedly doubled the size of my TBR pile. I will definitely be buying this book to add to personal collection when it comes out. This is a great book for any horror fan!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrienne

    Great reference book! Lots of examples and the reading guide is very useful! Has plenty of cool illustrations as well. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Griffith

    A fantastic and thorough source of horror lit history. I learned of many writers I'd never know of and my list of things I need to read is now a mile long.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sara Miles-Jewell

    This was a fun take on women writers. I love that they dive into the life of the authors and the books. The fact that they offer a reading list for each is fantastic.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Xenia

    A fascinating book examining the female influence over the horror genre. As an aspiring writer myself, I found this book to be useful and beautifully presented.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This is what I’m always hunting for in a book that explores a genre; quick write ups on the notable names, recommendations on what to read, followed by read-alikes. Tres magnifique!

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