9 Female Horror Writers You Should Be Reading

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These female authors will make your blood run cold.

Tucked away on the dark and dusty shelves of libraries around the world are pages packed with murder: tales of lands where only the most wicked of creatures dwell. Yet year after year, hands pass over the spines of these treasures, leaving more cobwebs on their covers than in the stories themselves.

The battle of due recognition in the literary horror/thriller/suspense genre has been a tough one for women writers. And while authors like Ann Radcliffe, and, later on, Daphne du Maurier wrote novels which stand as cornerstones of the Gothic horror genre, many female horror writers have gone under appreciated.

Today we look to some of the women writers who lead the genre of the sick and twisted, admiring their short stories, poetry, and prose. Here is a short round up of the women you may not know yet, but once you do, they’ll surely haunt your bookshelves evermore. These women range from the beginnings of horror, representing classic horror novels, to today, writing some of the most popular and bestselling horror of the modern day.

1. Daphne du Maurier (pictured above)


By Daphne du Maurier

Born in London in 1907, Daphne du Maurier was the daughter of the prominent actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont. She grew up among creative types, and her blooming passion for literature and writing was nurtured by family and friends. As her career grew, she was categorized as a “romantic novelist” though, today, she fits best among the Gothic writers. du Maurier found success on the big screen as well: many of her novels were adapted for films including Jamaica Inn (1939), Frenchman’s Creek (1944), Hungry Hill (1947), My Cousin Rachel (1952), and, of course, Rebecca (1940). Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) was based on a treatment of one of du Maurier’s short stories, as was as the film Don’t Look Now (1973). The Doll is one of 13 of du Maurier’s “lost” stories, described as, “gothic, suspenseful, and macabre.” She wrote it when when she was only 21.

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