Thank you, Jamie and Quirk Book for sending me a copy of Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie Anderson
for free in exchange for an honest review.
I know this book isn’t technically witchy but I feeling all the female empowerment vibes from this week and thought Monster She Wrote would fit perfectly. When I was lucky enough to be invited to the MCM blogger brunch by Jamie and this was one of the books I highlighted and set a reminder on my phone for the release date. I also love the cover and the illustrations inside; I honestly love the green going through the book.
Lisa and Melanie want us to know that there are tons of great Gothic/horror/ terror-filled books out there that have all written by fantastic female writers. This is a 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.
The book is more of a reference guide to acknowledge the hundreds of women authors working in the horror and speculative fiction genres. Lisa and Melanie give a further reading list for those who are interested in diving deeper into the author and authors who are similar. At times the sheer number of books that Lisa and Melanie cross-reference is slightly perplexing but you can’t be mad as it is an outstanding declaration of pride in the history of female authors in a commonly miss assumed male-dominated genres.
Divided into six categories, the authors take us from the 17th century (the founding mothers) up to the 21st century (the new Gothic). This is done fantastically and this was a real joy to read. This book is well detailed and gives a background on each of the authors that are covered. Well researched and given plot details on some of their most famous work. This book did a wonderful job of showcasing the women of horror themselves, It was great to read their life journey and how it shaped the way they write.
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 notion that these types of stories are solely the territory of male writers. When some of these tales were written female authors wrote under a pseudonym or were expected to create romantic love stories and the delightfully horrific examples in this book display that women can be just as intense and unconventional when it comes to suspense and horror, ghost stories, gore, and murder, violence, and paranormal activities.
This book is a reminder that we should never forget these brave women who push the boundaries of society and dance beautifully around gender roles.