Speaking the Unspeakable: Women, Sex, and the Dismorphmythic in Lovecraft, Angela Carter, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Beyond
Supernatural Horror in Literature canonizes a primarily male tradition of weird writing, and H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional women are often abject constructs; the sex acts he implies are linked to miscegenation that threatens humankind. Despite this, there is a Lovecraftian legacy of work by women writers, one this chapter explores, focusing on work by Angela Carter, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and selected stories collected in the anthology She Walks in Shadows, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles. These writers reinvigorate and subvert Lovecraft’s legacy, speaking back to his sexual fear and disgust while exposing deep-seated problems with gender and power.