House of Horrors

ebook Familial Intimacies in Contemporary American Horror Fiction · Horror Studies

By Agnieszka Kotwasińska

cover image of House of Horrors

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This is a study of tumultuous transformations of kinship and intimate relationships in American horror fiction over the last three decades. Twelve contemporary novels (by ten women writers and two whose work has been identified as women's fiction) are grouped into four main thematic clusters – haunted houses; monsters; vampires; and hauntings – but it is social scripts and concerns linked directly to intimacy and family life that structure the entire volume. By drawing attention to how the most intimate of all social relationships – the family – supports and replicates social hierarchies, exclusions, and struggles for dominance, the book problematises the source of horror. The consideration of horror narratives through the lens of familial intimacies makes it possible to rethink genre boundaries, to question the efficacy of certain genre tropes, and to consider the contribution of such diverse authors as Kathe Koja, Tananarive Due, Gwendolyn Kiste, Elizabeth Engstrom, Sara Gran and Caitlín R. Kiernan.

House of Horrors