A Darker Shade Of Noir: New Stories Of Body Horror By Women Writers Edited By Joyce Carol Oates Is A Must Read.

by Rufus Hickok

Sure, we all aspire to “love the skin we’re in,” but let’s face it: bodies can be unruly, embarrassing, foul-smelling, troublesome, gross, and even a little monstrous. Certainly, the powers that be now live in full-time panic about bodies they can’t control, ostracize, or regulate. So it’s fitting to see a collection of women writers inspiring new visions of body horror in their trembling readers.

From Tananarive Due’s unnerving tale of a grieving granddaughter who can’t stop dancing to Margaret Atwood’s amusing story of a snail reincarnated into the adult body of a bank service representative; from Lisa Tuttle’s startlingly literal mashup of the red states’ dual obsession with guns and pregnancy to Sheila Kohler’s sexy/gross take on the Bride of Frankenstein—these 15 stories evoke all of the weird ways in which strange bodies can make us shiver and heave. And some selections, like Joanna Margaret’s horrifying tale of a parasitic twin and artistic muse or Joyce Carol Oates’ all-too-real account of the tortures asylums once doled out to cure women of “hysteria,” will burrow under your skin and live forever in your darkest dreams.

Image via Akashic Books

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.