Cover Image: Monster, She Wrote

Monster, She Wrote

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Member Reviews

This book will definitely add many titles to your TBR list!  It’s a brief overview of all the woman in horror/sci-fi writers. Starts with all the best classics, and ends in the modern day. Also includes tid-bits about movies and tv shows. Great reference guide
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A really interesting book about female horror writers. Very easy to read and understand (it's not only for students in literature). It made me discover many authors-to-be-read.
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Monster, She Wrote is an informative guide to female horror writers, and perfect for someone like me, who loves gothic and ghostly fiction, and finding new authors to read. There are over 35 authors listed, starting with Margaret Cavendish (The Blazing World), known as 'Mad Madge' for her wild fashion and loud behaviour, and ending with modern authors such as Helen Oyeyemi, Susan Hill, Sarah Waters and Angela Carter.

Monster, She Wrote looks at how the original gothic fiction written by Ann Radcliffe (The Mysteries of Udolpho) evolved, via authors such as Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), through the Victorian trend for ghost stories and into the science fiction of the 20th century. I found it fascinating to read about my favourite authors (Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier and Anne Rice) as well as authors I had heard of but not read: V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic).

In addition to a potted biography for each author, there is a suggested reading list and mention of their contemporaries - if you fancy trying something similar but different. The genres covered are gothic fiction, horror, ghost stories, science-fiction, domestic thrillers, psychological suspense, fantasy, paranormal and supernatural, and re-tellings of fairy stories. This book is perfect for either dipping into or reading from cover to cover. I really enjoyed it, I can definitely recommend it - and I've found lots of new authors to try too!


Thank you to Lisa Kroger, Melanie R. Anderson and Quirk Books for my copy of this book, which I requested via NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.
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What a great book!  As a woman who has written horror and sci-fi for years, I've gotten accustomed to the men in the field acting like my existing in "their" field is an affront to nature.  The truth is, women invented and developed the horror, sci-fi, and superhero genres and then were pushed out and neglected.  This book reclaims a lot of history for the actual pioneers of some of the best genres that humanity has to offer.  Give to the writer in your life, other women, men who think women aren't good writers...  really anyone.
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This book was an enjoyable and interesting read about the origins of women's horror and Gothic authorship. I would love to know even more about these author's sometimes scandalous lives. It is a primer on the women authors of their time and it was interesting not only to learn more of their personal loves, but also about popular literary themes in their lifetimes as well.
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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
Mariana doesn’t know exactly what she was expecting when she started this collection of biographies. Maybe something like the very intense recount of Mary Shelley’s work written by Esther Cross (La Mujer Que Escribió Frankenstein, only available in Spanish), however, this is not that.

Instead, for Monster, She Wrote, think less non-fiction biographies and more exhaustive collection of trading cards, the main theme being ALL those incredible women who wrote ghostly tales, gothic horror, and mysterious novels; many of whom you may have never heard of.

Mariana knew, as an intuition, that women wrote all the time, and as the book corroborates, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. Also, their own life stories are as complicated and convoluted as their fiction. Some of the women collected here are: Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, Violet Paget, Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews, Eli Colter, and Ruby Jean Jensen.

Each entry comes with a small biography and a recommendation or reading list. The book is organized by theme:—ghosts, murder mysteries, monsters, and the like—and there are a lot of curiosities in the book because a hundred women were out there in the Victorian era, fending off life with their words, and they wrote more than two hundred mysterious, spooky novels, novellas, and stories.
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I really enjoyed a great many things about this book. Characters were fleshed out and the plot was well spaced. Some of the secondary storylines could've used a bit more page space but all in all an enjoyable read!
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Cute, engaging, fast read. 

I skimmed and dipped in and out over the course of an evening and a lunch break. While I really liked the suggested reading lists at the end of each section, and the illustrations were adorable, I think I was expecting something a little meatier. Something that was closer to an analysis of women writers in the genre.

It is definitely a pretty book, and gives a great overview of the greats and the lesser-knowns.
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Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to read this text!

In Monster, She Wrote, authors Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson take readers on a fun and informative tour of women's contributions to horror, beginning with Margaret Cavendish and ending with the prolific trailblazers of today. The books "slime green" illustrations make for a fun aesthetic and the short entries allow for reading straight through or for dipping in before falling asleep. 

If you are someone who enjoys horror - or knows someone who does - this book would make a perfect gift -- especially if you paired it with one of the lesser known titles inside. The book examines several broad themes alongside its literary ladies: hauntings, the pulp fiction stories found in magazines like Weird Tales, the pulp horror paperbacks of the 1980s, haunted homes, the return of the Gothic, and the future of horror. Readers can expect to learn about famous writers like Shirley Jackson and Angela Carter - but even the most prolific reader is likely to encounter an entire host of new voices - some which have been republished and some which still need some literary love/ rediscovery (I was adding to my wish list the entire time I read). It was a pleasure to learn that female writers of genre and speculative fiction have had wide influence on things as diverse as the creation of the character of Han Solo and the appendix to Dungeons and Dragons. Less happily, I learned that women writers were often criticized for the very things for which their male counterparts were often praised: being too prolific, being too gory or disturbing, or pushing the boundaries. Readers who open this book will have a dual delight: the book is a pleasure on its own - but its practically guaranteed to lead to more books!
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A book to give you a new, lengthy reading list. A beautifully researched look into the women who pioneered horror and speculative fiction that serves as a reminder about the monstress contributions that women have made to these categories.
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This was an anthology of sorts, giving short biographies on women who write horror or similar genres.  It was organized chronologically but also by subject.

It was a very intriguing read that inspired me to delve into some short stories that are now in the public domain.   I think this title will be a great addition high school and college literature classes.  It honestly made me want to teach high school again so that I could spend an entire semester on horror and the strange in literature.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.
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This was great; readable, and a real page turner.  I really found myself intrigued from the first.  A great read, and one which I would recommend.  Perfect for this time of year!
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What a well-researched and beautifully laid-out book. I picked up Monster, She Wrote initially to gain background for a seminar I planned to give on women authors in frightening fiction. By then end of this book I knew I would have a whole lot more reading ahead of me in order to do that subject justice. The creators of Monster, She Wrote have definitely done this reading, and more.
Starting with the early Gothic era, the book examines each of the significant stages in Horror’s evolution and the female authors that contributed to it. This includes (just to name a few) the Victorian Ghost Story, the occult fascinations of the late 19th century spiritualist movement, the advent of the Pulps, early American Horror, the rise of the serial killer, and finally post-millennial horror trends.
In all these stages I was intrigued by the women who wrote this type of fiction and the sociocultural issues they examined in their stories, in particular the vulnerability of women physically, economically and politically throughout the centuries. It seems no coincidence that many of these authors were feminists, often writing extensively on that subject in their non-fiction body of work. Short stories like “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are feminist gothic manifestos that still have a modern message to give, such that even my young daughter was required to study it at university.
But beyond those messages, the fact remains that this is all damn good fiction, written by women sometimes forgotten over the years for the stunning contributions they have made to the genre and the influence they exerted over the development of the craft. I’ve got a reading list now as long as Frankenstein’s arm in order to find these stories and enjoy them for their own sake.
I recommend Monster, She Wrote to anyone who is interested in the history of horror and weird fiction, the contribution of women authors to the genre, and the unique ideas they sought to explore in their work.  You’ll come out of it with a whole list of wonderfully rich reading material to fill your eerie story TBR’s for many nights to come.
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I really loved this book! I am a huge fan of horror and truly adore gothic novels. This book didn't tell me anything I didn't know or introduce me to authors that I hadn't already heard of, but it was wonderful to have all of this information in the same place. I think that the perfect audience for this work is someone who has limited information or understanding of past female horror and science fiction authors. I would recommend this to my students who enjoyed gothic pieces that we read in class and want to explore more. The mini-bios are very interesting and I love that the reading suggestions are broken into must reads, additional readings, and books that are similar in style. This will certainly made people's TBR's collapse from exhaustion.
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It was nice to read about how women have become more prominent in horror. Despite the fact that this focused more on classic horror, which isn't usually my forte, it was still nice to see the progress of female authors. Once the book got to authors I'm more familiar with, then I enjoyed it more. I'd definitely recommend this to people who enjoy the history of how women have risen in horror.
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What do you think of when you think of horror? Well, sadly, most people think of film. Moreover, if you think of books and authors, then, I am guessing that, the names Stephen King and Clive Barker come to mind. I would imagine that you don’t think of women writers. In fact, a few people reading this post are saying; ‘women don’t write horror’. ‘Monster She Wrote’ seeks to proof that women have always written horror. In fact, women were at the very start of the horror movement. They were major names within the literary movement that gave birth to horror, i.e. the Gothic.

This book looks at the lives, and works, of female authors, placing them in context with their historical era. The authors explore the history of the horror movement and the role of women within that sphere. The book begins by examining horror’s gothic routes, exploring the work of writers, such as; Anne Radcliffe and Mary Shelley. It then moves onto the spiritualist writings of, relatively unknown writers, such as Alice Askew. The authors then take us through the pulps, exploring the work of writers, such as Charlotte Riddle and Elizabeth Gaskell. Then the work examines modern day horror queens, such as Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice and Sarah Walters.

This book seeks to fill a very large hole within the history of horror, giving the work of women authors the attention it deserves. But, it does more than that; providing a useful introduction to the history of the field , introducing each of its waves, and contextualising these movements against their wider historical setting. It’s an interesting look at an interesting field of literature
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If you Google “greatest horror writers,” nearly every list you will come across in the first page of search results is overwhelmingly male. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that the horror genre owes some of its greatest contributions to women. In fact, if you accept that the gothic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries were the precursors to modern horror, you could even go so far as to say that women were the true progenitors of the genre. 

In Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, Lisa Kröger presents an incomplete but fairly comprehensive collection of women writers that made significant contributions to genre fiction, specifically stories of horror and suspense. Part reader’s guide and part literary history, Monster, She Wrote surveys the lives and works of dozens of writers ranging from the world-famous like Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson, to nearly forgotten authors whose true identities aren’t even fully known. Overall, Kröger takes a straightforward approach to the rather large project of covering hundreds of years of genre fiction by moving mostly chronologically through six sections that cover different eras in horror fiction. 

Genre fiction has always been important as a gateway for writers shut out by the larger literary establishment. This is especially relevant for women writers, who were not only often excluded from “serious” writing, but who were also denied employment opportunities in general for a very long time. For some women, writing macabre and sensational stories was the only way for a respectable woman to make money. For others, horror and speculative fiction offered a new way to explore the real world through a uniquely adaptable and imaginative lens. Whether genre fiction paid the bills or simply offered creative license, every one of the writers in Monster, She Wrote has shaped literature as we know it.
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With its eye-catching cover and compellingly strange sketches and drawings, Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction attracts attention from its opening pages.  From there, the authors Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson proceed to thoroughly entertain and inform those curious enough continue reading about this underexplored topic.  Providing historical context, fascinating biographical background and a plethora of reader's advisory information, Monster She Wrote is mandatory for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of these genres that are typically assumed as dominated by their male authors.  Kröger and Anderson's chronology starts with Margaret Cavendish in the 17th century and the advent of speculative fiction and gothic tales, culminating with recent releases—many of which that have sought to revive, expand and modernize some recurring feminist themes over the centuries.  The book is divided into eight sections, each with an introduction to a time period or emerging trend accompanied by defining characteristics; a quick bio of its most relevant female writers with recommended reading lists; and suggested supplemental materials related to each.  Also sprinkled within are quotes and asides that discuss how women's voices, changing roles and male counterparts contributed to each moment in the genre's history.  With their witty and colloquial tone, it is obvious that the authors are both well-informed and passionate about the subject matter.  Monster, She Wrote can be enjoyed sequentially or browsed in any order for those seeking to explore the origins of some exceptional horror/speculative fiction or add substantially to their TBR list.

Thanks to the authors, Quirk Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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I'm a sucker for a good book recommendation. I love curating my ever growing 'to read'-list on Goodreads, so naturally I'd be intrigued by a book meant to introduce me to a whole range of female authors. Ok, admittedly it was the title that got me first, since I simply cannot resist a Frankenstein reference, especially if it goes hand in hand with a Murder, She Wrote reference! Thanks to Quirk Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For those looking for an academic deep dive into the way female authors originated and developed the horror genre, turned it to their own benefits and used it as a form of self-expression, Monster, She Wrote is not the book for you. However, if you're looking for a reference guide that will allow you to explore all of the above independently, Monster, She Wrote is a perfect starting point. Starting with the "Founding Mothers", Kröger and Anderson track the wide variety of female authors who have expressed themselves through Horror and Speculative Fiction. Many authors in this book will be familiar to lovers of these genres, but there are also plenty of new discoveries to be made, especially once it explores the different offshoots of the Horror genre as well as the lost authors of the Pulp fiction era. Of course some authors you're looking for will not be featured, just as some you'd never expected will be. Considering the constraints on a book like this, Kröger and Anderson have done a great job at presenting a topical and chronological overview. (For some more unusual Speculative Fiction by women I also recommend Sisters of the Revolution.)

What I adored about Monster, She Wrote was the fun, almost conversational, tone. Sometimes reading this book felt like having coffee with a literature devotee who pleasantly but passionately told you about all these amazing people you've never heard of. Each author gets her own list of recommended titles and further reading, which means that if any of them catch your eye you can hit the ground running. The ways in which the authors featured in Murder, She Wrote took inspiration from each other, built upon each others' groundbreaking work and pushed boundaries wherever they could, is not just interesting but also inspiring. Much of the work done and art created by these women has gone on to inspire the male authors we hear so much about like H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. The fact that these female authors aren't as well-known is a shame and books like Murder, She Wrote are a great first step in correcting this error.

Murder, She Wrote will be the end of your dreams of downsizing your 'to read'-list. Kröger and Anderson have written a great reference book for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of female authors in Horror and Speculative Fiction.
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This book is a must read for all lovers of horror, speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and beyond.  I read it slowly, usually focusing on a few writers a day so their histories didn’t blend together too much.  It was fascinating to discover how some writers who were already well known to me had some obscure ghost stories I had been missing.  The only complaint I have about this title is that now my to-read list has gotten much longer with all of the recommended reading by all the fantastic authors featured in this book!
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