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Publisher's Summary

Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: 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 Coltor, 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.

©2019 Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Monster, She Wrote

Average Customer Ratings
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Absolutely Inspiring!

An enchanting, inspiring read that made my TBR list grow about two feet! This should be mandatory reading for all speculative fiction writers. I'm so thrilled this book exists.

8 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!

As a modern goth girl, this book was wonderful and informative! I learned about dark minds and “difficult” women from the long history of horror, pulp, gothic, and speculative fiction. As someone who is interested in, but not particularly familiar with literary history and terminology, reading this book was enlightening without being inaccessible. The authors don’t shy away from interspersing their own commentary in a way that feels very conversational and passionate. The reading lists are phenomenal! It’s clear to me that this book was written by nerds, and I mean that as the highest compliment!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good information, not ideal for audio

This is definitely a book worth reading, but perhaps not one that lends itself to audiobook format. It's written in more of a "listicle" style than a narrative one, which I wasn't really expecting, and I had to keep stopping to jot down authors and titles to look into, or I would completely lose track. Not the end of the world, but I think I would have preferred the print version.

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Find new writers with this primer

Already looked to see if The Blazing World was on Audible (it is). Download it

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating

4 stars - It was really good.

This was a fascinating look at the women who have pioneered horror fiction. I hadn’t heard of very many of these women or their books before this. I am not a huge horror fan but I want to read more in the future so I will be adding some of these authors to my TBR. Also I loved that at the end of each chapter the authors provided a list of recommended reading if you were interested. I am going to have to get the eBook version of this book now just so I can reference those lists.

If you are interested in horror history, book history, or pioneering women, I highly suggest picking up this book.

1 person found this helpful

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not a story just someone else opinions

this isn't a story. this is someone's opinion on other women's books, and little clips of what that other book is about.

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What to read next

This book does a great job giving short biographies of the women who created horror and also recommending your next read. I loved getting to know how much of an impact each woman made and then getting a sample of what some of them wrote to really tie it all together.

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So informative

I have so many books to read! This history of women authors has given me so many titles to seek out and names to explore. Did you know that Mary Shelley wasn't even the first to write horror novels? There were a few published a hundred years earlier!

Of course, many of my already-favorites are here, besides Mary Shelley: Shirley Jackson, C.L. Moore, Tanith Lee, Octavia E. Butler, Toni Morrison, Kelly Link, V.C. Andrews, etc. etc. But now I have so many more to read! My mother and I have always enjoyed C.L. Moore's short SF stories, but I had no idea she wrote under at least two other pen names.

Many women authors were much more prolific than their male counterparts, and, therefore, deemed less important (explain that one!). Also, because so much of this work was published in disposable mediums like the serials of the late 1800s, or the pulp paperbacks of the 1920s through the 1950s, much has been lost to the world. It is a tragedy to know so many inventive and imaginative tales will never be remembered or reprinted. I must also seek out the publishers who are making an effort to revive and preserve these works of past writers.

I loved hearing about mid-20th-century short stories being adapted into television episodes of anthology series like Night Gallery, Outer Limits, and others. I remember several mentioned, and was glad to a woman writer was credited and paid for some of the more memorable episodes.

The structure of this book was also a pleasure. Each chapter begins with a short passage, the name of the author, and a short biography of that writer 's career. After briefly discussing the life, works, and reception of the author (both critical and popularly), there is sometimes a comparison to contemporaries, antecedents, or preceding influences upon the author. At the end of each chapter, the recommended reading list is shared. Perfect.

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great review of the lit - with reading recs!

I was totally occupied with this book! I listened to it on a long drive and was worried it mightn't keep my attention but it totally did! the only bummer was not having free hands to write down the recommendations. I'm currently finishing a dissertation and don't have tons of spare reading time but I'm absolutely planning to have a year of gothic women writers for my 2023 reading! in addition to plenty I already knew as a fan of quite a few of these writers was so so much I didn't! the authors take the reader on a journey and do a great job of balancing colloquial tone with academic insight. overall a super fun read!

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10/10

Amazing book recommendations and quick history lessons on prolific writers. 100% worth the time and download

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-22

great for a recommendation list

great list of books and authors covered, a recommendation for everyone in here somewhere

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