One of my favourite writers is Shirley Jackson. I won’t go into a lengthy description about her or her works, though. WIHM has to be much more than the obvious choices like Shirley Jackson and Mary Shelley, after all. It’s about digging deeper and discovering and celebrating books by current, lesser known authors whose as-yet-unread work will hopefully make our souls weep with joy.
What I will say, however, is that Jackson’s style resonates with me. I love her writing style. It has an almost dream-like quality, which I find utterly addictive. Her characters, usually misunderstood females, are quirky and delightful. I guess you could say my preference is for subtle, unnerving horror, which Jackson did so well. Her stories are filled with ambiguity and you end up thinking about her books long after you’ve finished them.
Last year I discovered The Grip of It by Jac Jemc. It’s a haunted house book that feels totally Jackson-esque. It was an absolute delight to read, and I’d go as far as to say I felt haunted while reading it. The prose was stunning and the storyline compelling. It went straight onto my list of favourite books.
Come Closer (Sara Gran)
Dark Matter (Michelle Paver)
Dear Laura (Gemma Amor)
Ghost Wall (Sarah Moss)
Monster, She Wrote (Lisa Kroger & Melanie R. Anderson)
Pine (Francine Toon)
Thin Air (Michelle Paver)
The Coffin Path (Katherine Clements)
The Hunger (Alma Katsu)
The Three (Sarah Lotz)
The White Road (Sarah Lotz)
Wakenhyrst (Michelle Paver)
This year I hope to discover more books by women I’m not yet familiar with to add to my favourites list. So if you know of any women who write horror in a subtle, creeping-around-barefooted-in-the-dark style, pleased let me know. Extra points if they’re indie authors!
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day 🖤