Monster, She Wrote
Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson

Book cover image

Narrated By: Erin Bennett

Duration: 7 hours and 30 minutes

What to expect

Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.


Biography: general, Gender studies: women and girls, Literary studies: fiction, novelists and prose writers, Horror and supernatural fiction, Literature: history and criticism, Gender studies: women and girls

Listen to a sample

“Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson deserve a standing ovation.”

New York Times Book Review

“A perfect way to find your next spooky story.”

Tulsa World

“Highly readable, relatable, and edifying, librarians and horror readers will find it useful and entertaining.”


“Your necronomicon for all women writing horror.”


“Unique, fascinating, informative…an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library.”

Midwest Book Review

“The curatorial quality of a literary anthology, the historical rigor of an academic text, and the pleasure of a picture book.”

“Kröger and Anderson’s superb little directory covers women authors of the gory and fantastic, past and present. Each author is placed into a section that best fits her most innovative work, and each entry is an informative treatise on what she wrote, her lasting influence, and how she touches the horror we know and love today…The suggestions for related works, movies, and TV series alone are worth the price of admission.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Presented in a breezy, conversational style that makes it easy to gobble up whole sections at a time.”

Cemetery Dance

“Inspired…also in how it illuminates the often unusual lives of the women who crafted these dark worlds.”


“[A] meticulously compiled resource…This biographical index will reawaken readers’ admiration for established virtuosos of literary terror and inspire curiosity in lesser-known specialists in fictitious fear.”