Melissa Edmundson (ed.) Women’s Weird. Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

Weird fiction conjures up ideas of the supernatural, ghastly horror and the Gothic; this collection of wonderful tales doesn’t disappoint. With Halloween fast approaching, the dark evenings accompanied by candlelight – this book is the perfect companion to an evening of weird.

Women’s Weird is a collection edited by Melissa Edmundson and features thirteen women writers from 1890-1940, each individually handpicked to give you not only a scare but also food for thought on the idea of everyday life becoming rather weird.

The stories explore a vast array of ideas and occurrences that feed into our human psyche, the scares and the fear that we hear about in folklore and legend come to the surface in these stories. In some cases, these tales go beyond our primal fears and go into the world of the surreal, opening up new ideas and new fears for us to process.

The stories of years gone by often centred around ghosts, for example, a master of his craft M.R James spooked his readers with characteristic settings and afflicted spectres however, Women’s Weird, although in a similar vein, has the ability to take a normal life and turn it on its axis in the most frightening way. The book explores everything from supernatural entities to everyday objects taking on a life of their own.

Another reason why this collection is so special is its theme of the woman writer. Each story has a deeper meaning than just the plot, there are stories here that have taken our innermost anxieties and externalised them in order to produce the wonderful stories we have in front of us today.

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