Horror is often considered a male-dominated genre. I beg to differ. Plenty of women have written fiction that has made us clutch our (metaphorical) pearls. Of course, you immediately think of Anne Rice today and Mary Shelley for penning Frankenstein — the oft imitated and replicated tale of the horror of reanimation. Even Toni Morrison tipped her toe in horrific waters with Beloved.
Here, I hope to introduce you to a few new female authors who have dominated horror and suspense. (BTW: I was prompted to write this post AFTER finding a post of the top 20 horror writers of all time…and not one woman was on it.)
1. Joyce Carol Oates Celebrated for her short stories, Oates has also written equally creepy novels, including Beasts and Zombie. I’m quite the fan.
2. Daphne du Maurier Not including the author of The Birds, Rebecca, and Don’t Look Now would be an egregious oversight.
3. Donna Tartt I find Tartt can capture the mundane and make it mysterious. Her writing is not slasher horror, but it will creep you out.
4. Shirley Jackson With stories such as the Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery, Jackson taught us how the seemingly everyday can be terrorizing.
5. Tanith Lee This British author of more than 90 novels should be in your TBR pile. She writes sci-fi as well as horror, and I think for honesty’s sake, I must admit I’ve only ready short stories by her — but I found them enthralling.
More female authors who will scare the wits out of you!
A list of authors who are female and black who write horror (three lists — 60 authors in total!)
Adrian W. Lilly is the Author of the Runes trilogy. Book One, The Wolf at His Door and Book Two, The Wolf in His Arms are currently available.