Gothic fiction transforms normality--the supernatural becomes the everyday, human fears are exaggerated, familiar landscapes are turned into places that are strange and bizarre. Female writers have inhabited this landscape for generations. Mary Shelley, Anne Rice, Angela Carter are just three of the more famous dark divas. Now some less well-known voices have their say in Night Shade: Gothic Tales by Women. The 17 short stories take place in everyday settings--contemporary houses, a bar, a veterinary hospital. Yet in this collection, the familiar is subverted. In Roz Warren's "The Birthday Present," a quite ordinary young woman is given a special gift on her 25th birthday--the powers of shapeshifting. When she falls in love with a married man, Liza morphs into a body that this man will find irresistible. |
Continuing with the theme of metamorphosis, Lisa D. Williamson's "The Existential Housewife" is the story of a frustrated homemaker who develops the ability to transform her hands into household objects. As Mel's boredom and frustration with her domestic confines intensifies, her hands take on more sinister characteristics. Her fingers "morphed into sharp, curved blades, deadly looking files and long, pointed knives." Her husband will do well to watch his back!
Night Shade is a melting pot of the erotic, the supernatural, and the gloriously gory. Fans of Gothic fiction will eat it up.
Source: Naomi Gesinger, Amazon.com.