The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, Women In Horror Month, 2016
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror February 23, 2016 (WIHM)
Who is the best ghost story writer of all the women writers out there? One could name the memorable oldies Edith Wharton, Shirley Jackson, Elizabeth Bowen, Amelia Edwards, Mary Elizabeth Braddon. A contemporary that I’d like to name for this final week of Women In Horror Month is Sarah Waters. If you haven’t read The Little Stranger, this Gothic ghost story is a treat in old-fashioned British style. This novel was a Finalist for the Man Booker Prize.
Hundreds Hall, is an 18th-century Georgian estate in rural Warwickshire, England. The Ayers family is struggling to keep up the dilapidated estate. Dr. Faraday is a country physician and called to attend a patient at Hundreds Hall. He becomes enchanted with the daughter Caroline Ayers. Supernatural events, decay, loss, deaths, a suicide drive the story to a shocking ending.
Faraday’s voice in this story is highly compelling. And Waters writes the malevolent action into a pulsation and with atmospheric spells that heighten the mystery. You will find some flavors of Poe, Dickens, and Henry James here.
Read The Little Stranger via your library (WorldCat.org).
Sarah Waters was named as one of Granta’s 20 Best of Young British Writers in January 2003. The same year, she received the South Bank Award for Literature. She was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards. In both 2006 and 2009 she won “Writer of the Year” at the annual Stonewall Awards. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. Visit her website at SarahWaters.com.
The Misletoe Bride, a short story by Kate Mosse is my free read to you this week. Read it at OnebookLane.com. Kate Mosse, is an English novelist, non-fiction and short story writer and broadcaster. She is best known for her 2005 novel Labyrinth. Surely a worthy Women In Horror Month author to explore. Visit her website at KateMosse.com.
If you are interested in a list of authors who write ghost stories and supernatural mysteries, I wrote a guest post for WIHM at the Horror Society, “Dead Authors Can Still Thrill Readers.” The article was published on February 5, 2014 and you can view it at HorrorSociety.com.
I hope you have enjoyed my Women In Horror Month posts for February here. There are some who feel this promotion that calls attention to women writers every February is unnecessary and even perhaps contributes to the gender disparity in Literature. I value WIHM because it spotlights appreciation for talented and crafty writers in this genre who are not men. But to be clear, we are not looking for special treatment; we are looking for equal treatment. We live in a world where it’s common to think or say ‘women writers,’ the gender describing the writer. We almost never say ‘men writers.’ Of course we prefer to be honored as writers first, and women second. In an online chat recently, a male reader referred to Anne Rice as a ‘girl’ writer. How many of us refer to Stephen King as a ‘boy’ writer? So, here’s the point for me: gender inequality still exists in our society in thought and action and certainly still exists in Literature. I look forward to a day when we can make the month of February “Writers In Horror Month” for all.
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.
This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery, supernatural, horror, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every week!
Comments are welcome.
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit
For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed