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A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers (Akashic Noir)

By Joyce Carol Oates
A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers (Akashic Noir) by Joyce Carol Oates digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Joyce Carol Oates assembles an outstanding cast of authors—including Margaret Atwood, Tananarive Due, and Megan Abbott—to explore, subvert, and reinvent one of the most vital subgenres of horror

"In this haunting new collection, edited by Oates, fifteen women writers explore the manifold horrors of living (and dying) in a patriarchal society . . . this collection may initially appeal to readers eager for tales filled with vampires and werewolves, influences from beyond the grave, and gore, guts, and ooze. They will not be disappointed. However, the stories not only bleed across the categorical boundaries they have been assigned, but also expand the scope of what is terrifying about the body—living or dead, human or nonhuman—in the first place . . . A bold collection of horror stories that flies in the face of both gender and genre conventions." Kirkus Reviews

While the common belief is that "body horror" as a subgenre of horror fiction dates back to the 1970s, Joyce Carol Oates suggests that Medusa, the snake-haired gorgon in Greek mythology, is the "quintessential emblem of female body horror." In A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers, Oates has assembled a spectacular cast to explore this subgenre focusing on distortions to the human body in the most fascinating of ways.

"Should we know nothing of the female monsters of antiquity," Oates writes in her introduction to the volume, "still we would know that body horror in its myriad manifestations speaks most powerfully to women and girls. To be female is to inhabit a body that is by nature vulnerable to forcible invasion, susceptible to impregnation and repeated pregnancies, condemned to suffer childbirth, often in the past early deaths in childbirth and in the aftermath of childbirth."

Featuring brand-new stories by: Margaret Atwood, Tananarive Due, Joyce Carol Oates, Megan Abbott, Raven Leilani, Aimee Bender, Lisa Lim, Cassandra Khaw, Elizabeth Hand, Valerie Martin, Sheila Kohler, Joanna Margaret, Lisa Tuttle, Aimee LaBrie, and Yumi Dineen Shiroma.

4 Reviews

Thumbs Up
Beautifully writtenEasy to readOriginal writingUnpredictableDark settingDarkMisogynyRacismViolence
“I love a nice, open theme for a collection, and Oates has outdone herself putting together this group of stories. They are all dark-fiction and horror stories with elements of body horror, but each author (and there are many names in here just as big as the editor's, and many who someday will be) imagines what that may mean very differently. Does it come as a transformation indicative of a confusion of identity? Is it uncontrollable dancing brought on by grief and ghosts? Is it smaller and quieter but just as frightening and violent? Whatever the case, in this book, it may not be supernatural, but it surely is beautiful.”

About Joyce Carol Oates

JOYCE CAROL OATES is the author of many works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. She is the editor of New Jersey Noir, Prison Noir, A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers, and Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers. Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award, PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Humanities Medal, and a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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