From familiar fairy tales and legends -- Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves -- Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.
Novelist, poet, dramatist and author of many of the best American short stories of our time, Joyce Carol Oates shows yet another aspect of her unbounded creativity in these tales of the grotesque. Haunted, a collection of sixteen tales that range from classic ghost stories to portrayals of chilling psychological terror, raises the genre to the level of fine literature - complex, multi-layered, and gripping fiction that is very scary indeed.
In the title story, "Haunted," the pubescent Melissa and her best friend, the sexually precocious Mary Lou, ignore "no trespassing" signs to explore forbidden houses. But the deserted Minton farm is one place where they should not have gone, and years later Melissa is tormented by her memories of its malevolence...and the murder of Mary Lou. In the novella, "The Model," a sexual threat seems to underlie the interaction between young Sybil Blake and "Mr. Starr," who asks her to be his model, but the truth about her own identity, and his, shows that the danger is lurking in a different part of the heart. The "Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly," a macabre reworking of Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw," resurrects the evil of Miss Jessel and Quint, who are up to their old tricks with the children, Miles and Flora, but with new, perverse, and brilliant revelations." "The tales in this collection plunge the reader into nightmare worlds where violence slips in unexpectedly, where reality turns into a funhouse mirror, and where American culture goes awry in shocking, provocative ways. Joyce Carol Oates is a master storyteller of the dark side. She writes with skillfully controlled prose, tightly woven plots, and deep psychological insight that make her fictional horror worthy to set alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe - and far above all the rest."--BOOK JACKET.
He was Ramses the Damned in ancient Egypt, but awoke in opulent Edwardian London as Dr. Ramsey, expert in Egyptology. He mixes with the aristocrats and samples their voluptuous lifestyle, but it is for his beloved, Cleopatra, that he longs, and will do anything to be with....
"The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable," writes A. M. Homes. "It is a place where things are not what they seem; even on a morning that is sunny and clear there is always the threat of darkness looming, of things taking a turn for the worse." Jackson's characters-mostly unloved daughters in search of a home, a career, a family of their own-chase what appears to be a harmless dream until, without warning, it turns on its heel to seize them by the throat. We are moved by these characters' dreams, for they are the dreams of love and acceptance shared by us all. We are shocked when their dreams become nightmares, and terrified by Jackson's suggestion that there are unseen powers-"demons" both subconscious and supernatural-malevolently conspiring against human happiness. In this volume Joyce Carol Oates, our leading practitioner of the contemporary Gothic, presents the essential works of Shirley Jackson, the novels and stories that, from the early 1940s through the mid-1960s, wittily remade the genre of psychological horror for an alienated, postwar America. She opens with The Lottery (1949), Jackson's only collection of short fiction, whose disquieting title story-one of the most widely anthologized tales of the 20th century-has entered American folklore. Also among these early works are "The Daemon Lover," a story Oates praises as "deeper, more mysterious, and more disturbing than 'The Lottery,' " and "Charles," the hilarious sketch that launched Jackson's secondary career as a domestic humorist. Here too are Jackson's masterly short novels: The Haunting of Hill House (1959), the tale of an achingly empathetic young woman chosen by a haunted house to be its new tenant, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), the unrepentant confessions of Miss Merricat Blackwood, a cunning adolescent who has gone to quite unusual lengths to preserve her ideal of family happiness. Rounding out the volume are 21 other stories and sketches that showcase Jackson in all her many modes, and the essay "Biography of a Story," Jackson's acidly funny account of the public reception of "The Lottery," which provoked more mail from readers of The New Yorker than any contribution before or since.
Premiered at the Royal National Theatre, this extraordinary play by one of Britain’s leading playwrights combines English folk tales with modern urban life. In terms of its language alone, it is as exciting and challenging on the page as on the stage. The play follows the Skriker, a shapeshifter and death portent, ancient and damaged”, in its search for love and revenge as it pursues two young women to London, changing its shape at every new encounter. Along with the Skriker come Rawheadandbloodybones, the Kelpie, the Green Lady, Black Dog and more, till the whole country is swarming with enticing and angry creatures that have burst from the underworld. Caryl Churchill has been hailed as a dramatist who must surely be amongst the best half-dozen now writing” The Times. She is the author of some twenty plays including CLOUD NINE, TOP GIRLS, SERIOUS MONEY and MAD FOREST, all seen and admired all over the world.
It's the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won't stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn't sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she's failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she's forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group's fate is determined less and less by what's happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life- and death-inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
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