Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson Review

Title: Monster: She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
Authors: Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Nonfiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

                I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

                I heard about this book from the free magazine, Bookpage, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to order it. I’ve had it for a while now, and it’s been sitting at the top of my library stack ever since. I realized I couldn’t renew it any more, so, when I finished The Never Tilting World, I plunged in, not certain what to expect. Simply put, this book shines a spotlight on the many women who have helped forge the modern horror and speculative fiction genres, complete with illustrations and reading lists. This book is one of my favorite books of 2019, because it was funny, informative, and surprising. This book begins with women from the 16th century and goes all the way to the present day, with a wealth of information about them all.

                Everyone knows Mary Shelley, the young woman who wrote Frankenstein when she was just a teenager. But did you know that she wrote that novel in response to the grief she was feeling over the child she lost? (She was also rumored to have her late husband’s heart tucked into a desk drawer!) There is also Margaret ‘Mad Madge’ Cavendish, who wrote a science fiction epic 150 years earlier, and liked to wear risqué dresses to the theater and opera. Shirley Jackson, one of my personal favorites, also gets an honorable mention; despite her career as a wife and mother, she used al of that as inspiration for her writing; she came into the public eye again when Netflix adapted her book, The Haunting of Hill House. This book contained profiles for authors I knew and some I’d never heard of. Containing information about so many women who had a hand in developing the horror and speculative fiction genres, this book was funny, informative, and interesting, and it might be one of my favorites for the nonfiction genre of this year. If I had one little quibble, I wish there had been more authors of color discussed. Nonetheless, this book was wonderful: meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated, and informative, I loved it so much! The bottom line: Hilarious, informative, and surprising, I loved Monster, She Wrote! Next on deck: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell!

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