Women in Horror 2014

Last year, following the Halloween Top 10 I wrote for The Guardian online, I realised I was incredibly ignorant of horror by women. In an attempt to change that, I have only read horror by female authors since.

So far, I have enjoyed the following books:

The Bloody Chamber and other stories by Angela Carter
Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite (I’ve since discovered that the author has reassigned his gender as male, so not sure this counts as horror by a woman. I suspect, however, that he may still have been female at the time of writing in the mid-nineties.)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough
The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough
Chalk by Pat Cadigan
A Nest of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle
Skeleton Leaves by Helen Marshall
Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood

It’s been great and I have several more women authors on my hit list, including:

Syd Moore, Muriel Gray, Anne Rice, Alice Hoffman, Michelle Paver, Gemma Files, Sarah Waters, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Joyce Carol Oates and Kaaron Warren.

All suggestions welcome!

9 thoughts on “Women in Horror 2014

  1. You’re absolutely right that Poppy Z. Brite hadn’t begun gender reassignment at the time of writing Exquisite Corpse so I reckon it counts. I guess Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was far too obvious to include.

    I would add The End of Alice by AM Homes to this list and also anything by Mary Gaitskill. Are either of them horror? That’s open to debate. Are both of them fantastic writers? Absolutely! And let’s face it that’s far more important than genre classifications.

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Sarah Langan, in particular Audrey’s Door. Let me get back to you when I’ve read it and see whether I, too, recommend it. I can tell you it was Jack Ketchum who recommended it and put it on my radar; how’s that for a glowing endorsement?

  2. Off the top of my head, there’s Sarah Langan’s “Audrey’s Door” if you’re into hauntings. In that same vein, but with a deeper delve into the weird is Cate Gardner’s “Theatre of Curious Acts.”

    Oh heck, to overload your senses, here are a couple of blog posts to help you out:

  3. Great list 🙂 You should also read Mercedes M. Yardley’s work if you have a chance, especially her short story collection, “Beautiful Sorrows.” She deserves a lot of recognition and is one of the finest wordsmiths around 🙂


    1. Thank you – what a list this is turning out to be!

      In a few months, when I’ve read a few more – hopefully, including MMY’s work – I’ll report back. Thanks again for the recommendation!

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