The Uncanny Gastronomic


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The Uncanny Gastronomic: Strange Tales of the Edible Weird edited by Zara-Louise Stubbs

Trade Paperback – British Library – Mar 2024 – 286 pages

‘Well,’ he said, looking at the waiter and giving him a sly wink, ‘all I can tell you is that I think it was pig’s meat.’
‘You mean you’re not sure?’
‘One can never be sure.’

A brush with the mushroom devil whets the appetite. The meat at the werewolf’s table is a dish to relish. Dessert with London’s cannibal club may be the cherry on top.

From fairy tales and folklore focused on magical foods and strange eating came an enduring tradition of writers playing with food and the uncanny. In the fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries this tradition thrived, with themes of supernatural consumption, weird transformation and sensual euphoria as key ingredients.

Raiding this dark pantry of writing, this new collection presents a feast of sixteen classic tales, two poems and one essay, with choice morsels by masters of the macabre including Shirley Jackson, Franz Kafka, Angela Carter and Roald Dahl.


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