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KDL Blog

Queens of Horror

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For as quickly as the months are passing this year, Halloween will be here before we know it. Why not celebrate with a little horror? When most people think of horror fiction, they think of the “king” of the genre--Stephen King. However, horror is also home to many incredible female authors. You might consider them to be the “queens” of horror. Consider adding some of the following spine-tingling titles to your holds list. There’s something for everyone!

Let’s start out with some classics. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a potent blend of science fiction and horror that has inspired countless movie and other adaptations. You’ll find many of these adaptations available in KDL’s catalog if you’re looking for a more visual experience. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is another novel guaranteed to get your heart racing; it has been praised as a “perfect work of unnerving terror.” 

If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, check out the work of Lauren Beukes. Emily Temple of LitHub Daily praises Beukes’ novels because they are “intelligent, fast-paced, and leave you with that horrible sick feeling--you know, the one you read horror novels for.” You can find both Broken Monsters and The Shining Girls in KDL’s catalog.

Our zombie apocalypse fans might want to check out Feed by Mira Grant (also known as Seanan McGuire). This novel may feel a little *too* timely as it follows a presidential campaign set in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Grant shows the flexibility of the horror genre here by blending zombies, politics, and medical horror all in one book. 

Another author who excels at making horror all her own is Helen Oyeyemi. Her novel White is for Witching blends horror with fairy tales and realism to bring us her creepiest work yet. This one is particularly well-suited for fans of haunted houses and paranormal activity. For more haunted house fun, Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It is sure to make you question every odd bump or creak in your home--especially if you’ve just recently moved in.

These titles are just a scratch on the surface of all the great novels women have contributed to the horror genre. They’re guaranteed to keep you up at night--either because you won’t be able to put them down or because you are simply too frightened to sleep. Maybe both!