Best Feminist Horror Books To Read

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This article showcases our top picks for the Best Feminist Horror Books To Read. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).

We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

This product was recommended by Nyasha Bryant from Miss Read Books

This action packed horror novel set during the US Reconstruction era follows a young African American woman, Jane. She’s closing up her time at a finishing school where Black girls are trained not only in etiquette, but to protect rich white families from the hordes of undead soldiers roaming across the country. Fans of historical horror fiction will absolutely get a kick out of Justina Ireland’s terrifying novel about an audacious young zombie slayer determined to build a better life for herself.

My Soul To Keep by Tananarive Due

This product was recommended by Nyasha Bryant from Miss Read Books

Terrifying, electric, and masterfully woven, My Soul To Keep by Tananarive Due is about a journalist who slowly discovers her husband, perfect in every way, may actually not be the man she thinks he really is. With a striking climax, this sensational novel will make you fall in love with its plucky and persistent protagonist, Jessica, as she unravels the mystery behind her husband’s true identity.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This product was recommended by Nyasha Bryant from Miss Read Books

In Carmen Maria Machado’s provocative collection of short stories, we’re introduced to a spectrum of womanhood and stories revolving around the violence female bodies often experience, through the perspectives of the women experiencing it. At times, haunting, funny, and biting, this genre bending, boundary breaking foray into contemporary feminist fiction is not one to miss.

White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

This product was recommended by Nyasha Bryant from Miss Read Books

In this novel, four generations of women are inexplicably, mystically tied together and when the youngest woman’s mother passes, she’s stricken by a mysterious set of ailments. In this spine-tingling novel, women bound by expectations of society, race, and class contend with its horrifying physical manifestations.

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

This product was recommended by Nyasha Bryant from Miss Read Books

When Gilda escapes slavery, she lands in a brothel where two woman initiate her into an ‘eternal life’ through ritual magic. Boldly womanist and unapologetically queer, this novel follows Gilda on her journey to finding a place to call home as she learns the true meaning of freedom.

The Mother of All Monsters by Paula D. Ashe

This product was recommended by Jaime Hough from abd2phd

The mother of all monsters is written as a letter between a woman and her sister and asks the questions no mother wants to answer: would you protect your child or your community? If your child is a monster then what does that make you? Like a true master, Ashe let’s us see the other side of the looking glass. Her elegant prose pulls us, inexorably, towards the conclusion that these are not the issues of one family or one town but issues of generational trauma caused by patriarchal violence which each of us must mercilessly root out wherever we find it whether that be in our homes or in our selves.

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

This product was recommended by Matt Weidle from Buyer’s Guide

Dolores Claiborne was being accused of the death of her employer, Vera Donovan. As Dolores claimed her innocence against her employer’s death, she unlocked the truth behind her husband’s death 30 years ago. Piece by piece, she recalled and confessed how she killed her husband and how glorious it was for her. Brilliant, dark, and haunting. Stephen King did not disappoint his readers with this unconventional story. It depicts how a strong and lighthearted woman survived and fought against the evil guise of a man she calls husband. Dolores is one of those remarkable female characters that you will always remember for being kick-ass amidst pain and misery. With the right amount of suspense and horror on each page, it will put you on the edge of your seat with how Dolores unveiled her story.

We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

This product was recommended by Deborah Goldberg from QuoteBuffalo

By the author of The Haunting of Hill House, this twisted and unsettling novel follows a pair of sisters dealing with isolation and hatred in the little town they live in. It’s a mysterious, genuine, perverse, and touching exploration of everyday mundanity and familial relationships, and aspects of gender and prejudice are woven throughout. This is a book that focuses on a distinct female narrator who shapes the world of the story she tells, though not necessarily in a positive way. This warping of the narrative will leave an imprint on readers for years to come.

Baptism by Fire by Amy-Jean Muller

This product was recommended by Hrvoje from Fiction Horizon

This newly released and remarkably styled book is nothing short of distinctive, with countless true horrors being revealed in everyday life. Such an approach fashions a context that each and every woman can relate to on a profound level. There is certainly much more between the lines than it may seem, and Baptism by Fire has not gotten as much attention as is deserved since it was published in January 2021 as an addition to the First Cut series. Although, there is a spine chilling journey that awaits the reader, and this installation is definitely not for the feeble minded or for the weak stomached as it will wrench your guts and stir your spirit to the core with incredibly harsh yet undeniably arguable standpoints. Inspired by poetic justice and real world horrors, every page has the impact of lyrical magic yet the readability of a thrillingly captivating story as it details a social struggle for the sensual freedom and identity of a woman within a cruel and condescending world. The viewpoint as a whole is incredibly rich in societal controversy, with a female protagonist who embodies many of the harsh realities of the modern world, topped off by the finesse of flaunting the scars she has to show for it. Nothing is sprinkled with glitter or glossed over, it’s vividly raw, strikingly disturbing, and all far too relatable. This is where the core of this feminist horror lies, and it’s a read that will surely haunt your mind and soul long after you have concluded with the final poetic line.

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