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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,228 ratings  ·  679 reviews
Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary archi
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Quirk Books
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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kroger is a 2019 Quirk Books publication.

Just in time for Halloween, Monster, She Wrote, will give you a host of books to add to your Fall/Winter reading list!

This book is also a tribute of sorts and is a reminder of the major contributions that women have made to the horror, Gothic, and science fiction categories. These pioneers of horror fiction were trailblazers, creating some of the most thought-provoking a
Peter Topside
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It was original, sassy, fun and very informational. It was also written fairly recently, referencing many pop-culturally relevant characters, tv shows, and movies. However, it also goes back several hundred years for certain authors, too. Each featured female horror author is organized by subgenre, gets a brief life history, their better known works (With brief descriptions), recommended reads and a quote. I sat updating my 'to read' list as I went through each auth ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Is your TBR becoming shorter? Neither is mine and now the wishlist is even longer.

These authors want you and I to know that there are tons of great Gothic/horror/ terror filled books out there and they are all written by fantastic female writers- some names I knew(Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson) but there were many more that were whispering from the shadows " I'm still here." Which sounds quite spooky but it fits with the whole atmosphere of this non fiction.

Divided into six categories, th
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“To all the girls who still sleep with the lights on, but read the scary stories anyway.”

Shirley Jackson, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Daphne du Maurier, Susan Hill - female horror authors that we all know and love. But have you heard of Elizabeth Gaskell? Or Charlotte Riddell? Or Dorothy Macardle??

A word of warning - Monster, She Wrote is BAD news for your already overflowing TBR. Part biography, part reader’s guide, Monster, She Wrote will introduce you to over one hundred female horror author
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-writers
Shirley Jackson, Mary Shelley, and Toni Morrison are drawn on the cover and their contributions to horror and adjacent genres are drawn within the covers of this sweet, little book. The two women who wrote this are very knowledgeable in this field.They take us from the beginning of horror writing by women, with writers that are well known like Ann Radcliff, to obscure authors who deserve to be better known and ending with modern, contemporary writers.

My "tbt" list just got more massive. Not only
Sadie Hartmann
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scream-mag
Well, this was only my second time reading a nonfiction book about the origins of horror and I must say that this was a lot of fun. I learned a lot, I took notes and I have a bunch of books I'd like to look for the next time I'm a secondhand bookstore.
Currently writing my review for Scream Mag and it will be published this October 2019
I will say that horror fans looking for some Gothic Lit or some dark, obscure reads that probably inspired modern horror writers, should pick this up!
Ashley Daviau
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do you like horror novels? Do you crave more horror by women authors in a genre that is saturated with male authors? If you answered yes to either of those questions then you need to drop whatever you’re doing, run to the store and buy this book NOW! It immediately caught my eye when I saw it announced online and I just couldn’t resist it. It has everything you ever wanted to know about the history of women in horror writing, the different genres of horror and so many great recommendations that ...more
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
An interesting read exploring the women who have paved the way for speculative fiction and horror. Split into sections like “pulp fiction writers” and “haunting the home”, this book dove into the lives of some famous writers of horror stories while also highlighting works of theirs that might not be as well known while also recommending other works similar to these writers’ stories.

Helen Power
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book, inside and out! Of course, I’m referring to the illustrations, but also the content. Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson have a witty and informative writing style, and this book is a must-read for any horror lover.

Monster She Wrote is broken up into sections, where like authors are grouped together based on what or when they wrote.  Each section has a brief foreword explaining the importance of the contribution of these women to literature, talking about the political and
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book will definitely add many titles to your TBR list! Even if you've read these horror novels before, I guarantee horror lovers will be rushing to read them again after reading the facts shared in this book!

I love a good scary story! Whether it's a gothic supernatural mystery in a dark, dank castle or a crazed killer chasing co-eds, I'm always up for a good scare. This book starts back with the earliest female writers who terrorized their readers up to the more modern ones. A lot
Michael Hicks
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review of MONSTER, SHE WROTE can be found at High Fever Books.

Almost immediately, I had to come to grips with what Monster, She Wrote is versus what I had hoped and wanted it to be. Without knowing much about the book beyond the awesome illustrated cover art and the premise as revealed in the title (The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction), I had expected a more thorough study exploring the various authors and a deep-dive into their eras, their work and legacies, and how they s
Sad Sunday (Books? Me?!? NEVER!!!)
So, if I never read Stephan King, I don't like the horror genre in particular, I don't think Frankenstein or Dracula is particularly scary, but I read this book, can I say that I dabble in horror?


Beautifully illustrated, quite informative. It doesn't load you with dull facts but gives brief glimpses of authors' lives, how they got to be so awesome, their creations and suggests a ton of material to check out if you are interested. The book highlights the most famous women writer in horror - most
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Will I ever tire of books about books? (Answer: no.) This one was great fun, and was a pleasant reminder of my favourite course during my English Lit undergrad, on the Female Gothic. It's a very brief overview, but I found the selections interesting, and I've added several new books to my to-read list. The more modern selections had some strange omissions (no Hotel World by Ali Smith? No Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel? No Amelia Gray or Camilla Grudova?) and focused on some lightweight YA authors ...more
luce (currently recovering from a hiatus)
DNF 40%

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction is an accessible guide/introduction to both major and minor female Gothic, Horror, and Speculative writers (from the 17th century until now). The illustrations are lovely, the writing is fairly engaging, and it seems to be catered towards younger audiences. It is not work of criticism or theory but a compendium that offers a few key biographical facts, the titles or summaries of these women's works, and recommended
3 stars for me and 4 stars for its intended audience.

This is a very nice book, friendly, approachable, a book I think a lot of readers will enjoy and learn something from; a book that will expand their horizons and lead them to search out new to them authors and explore horror and speculative fictions' vast back catatlogue of intriguing and excellent books by women. But, the three-star rating is because this is not that book for me.

I think I was hoping for something a little more in-depth, som
Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Monster, She Wrote
The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
By: Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson
This was an interesting read with a list of women who wrote all sorts of speculative fiction and horror. I knew some famous ones but many were new to me, especially those before 1900. The book explained the type of books, examples, what got them writing, a bit about their life, and additional information if the reader wanted to follow up on a certain person. It was interesting.
Alex (The Bookubus)
This is an excellent overview of female horror authors throughout the centuries. Whether you're a lifelong fan or new to the genre I think you'll find something interesting here. I read it from cover to cover and now I'm going to flip back through it and make some notes of books to add to my TBR!

I am a big fan of reading horror written by women so even though there are plenty of authors within the genre that I have already read or am aware of I bought this book in the hopes that it would introdu
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolute joy. First, the narrator was really skilled, as I did the audiobook. Second, I now NEED the hardcover because there were so many great recommendations in this book. The women were roughly broken from oldest to most recent careers, biographies were given, and then what readings are most recommended, and what other readings are of similar vibes. There was really skillful analysis given to the writings of these women, too. Absolutely loved it, and my TBR shelf is expanding like ...more
It's not that I don't like it - it's okay, really - but the book could be so good if only:
- the author did not spoil some of the endings of the stories/novels mentioned (revelations in horror are supposed to be the best part!)
- focuses more on just several authors instead of just giving one or two pages for each, while some names were mentioned a few times (why not create an specific entry for them?)
- since the book was short, some more pages would be great for more in-depth stuff or adding some
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson is a nonfiction book that details the lives and works of women who have contributed to the growth of horror and speculative fiction. Many of these women have been overlooked or have not been given credit where credit was due. However, the authors of this book set out to show just how many women have helped and still help shape what we know and think about horror and speculative fiction today.

The book is broken up into eight different par
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a non-fic about women-writers of horror and speculative fiction. The blurb mentions and her , so I assumed it will cover SF writers in detail as well, but this is not so. I’m not a fan of horror genre, it is hard to be frightened of ghosts if your grandparents saw people dropping dead from hunger and real women eating own children during the Great Famine of 1933 – life is more frightening than any fiction.

The book starts with several very interesting characters, namely Margaret Cavendish
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

If you have any interest in speculative fiction or horror, I definitely recommend picking this book up! It is a fascinating, well-crafted non-fiction book about the women who pioneered those genres. The tone is both informative and fun, which makes is really accessible for any reader. The book is divided up into 8 sections, each including information on several women. At the end of each bio, there are suggested reading recommendations and I promise you will come away with
The Artisan Geek

This was such an amazing read! Incredibly insightful and a great resource! I managed to find a number of interesting female authors. What I appreciated the most was definitely the range. This book features people of colour, queer authors and features works spanning centuries of gothic/horror/thriller literature. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for more than just the current big names in the game (as well as a nice introduction these genres).

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagr
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, non-fiction
Very good history of women horror/sci-fi/fantasy writers. It starts with the classics but moves right up to modern day, and includes TV shows and movies as well. There are lots of book recommendations as well.

If you're a horror fan, it's worth the read.
Diane S ☔
Jun 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-2021
Thoughts soon.
Leah Rachel von Essen
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Perhaps the weirdest tale," write Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson in MONSTER, SHE WROTE: THE WOMEN WHO PIONEERED HORROR & SPECULATIVE FICTION, "is how we've managed to forget the women who created such amazing stories." This incredible book gave me a reading list 30 books long. Despite knowing more about feminist speculative fiction than the average person, I knew very few of the authors referenced in this book, which outlines the long history of women writers and authors in the horror genr ...more
Stephanie M. Wytovich
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-academia
Absolutely inspired! I can’t recommend this enough. Mandatory reading for all Speculative Fiction writers.
Sam Hirst
I don't really recommend this book unfortunately. It functions as a brief overview of some important women writers in horror, the Gothic and speculative fiction. It is mostly useful as a recommended reading list and to point you in the direction of further research. Some of the 20th century sections felt strongest. I was surprised at how many errors there were in the sections on periods which I research - I do not know if that means there was a similar volume of errors in other sections. This in ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monster, She Wrote is a fascinating look into the history of female horror authors. I learned a lot and added so many new books and authors to my TBR list. If you have any interest in horror I'd reccomend this, it made me excited to check out many of the books and writers mentioned and learn more about them. ...more
Victoria S
Aug 26, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Kroger taught me early American Literature in the fall of 2018, and she continuously managed to bring horror stories into the classroom. She even has an Edgar Allan Poe shirt that she wore on Halloween!
I enjoyed her class immensely (and wish my school allowed her to teach a class focused on this subject!) and am excited to read this.
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