A Darker Shade of Noir



A Darker Shade of Noir: New Stories of Body Horror by Women Writers edited by Joyce Carol Oates

Trade Paperback – Akashic Books – Aug 2023 – 266 pages

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 WritersOates 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 stories by

  • Margaret Atwood,
  • Tananarive Due,
  • Aimee Bender,
  • Megan Abbott,
  • Cassandra Khaw,
  • Raven Leilani,
  • and more!


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