Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives ed. by Sarah Weinman

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week is Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense ed. by Sarah Weinman due out August 27, 2013 from Penguin Books.

This is an anthology of 14 women writers from 1940s through the mid 1970s. Among those selected are Charlotte Armstrong, Patricia Highsmith, and Shirley Jackson. The website  has more on the authors and why they were selected for inclusion.

From" One of today’s preeminent authorities on crime fiction, Weinman asks: Where would bestselling authors like Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, or Tana French be without the women writers who came before them?

In Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, Weinman brings together fourteen hair-raising tales by women who—from the 1940s through the mid-1970s—took a scalpel to contemporary society and sliced away to reveal its dark essence. Lovers of crime fiction from any era will welcome this deliciously dark tribute to a largely forgotten generation of women writers."

I hadn't thought of Domestic Suspense as a genre until I came across this book. Sarah Weinman suggests that as a genre it exists (from
"To my mind, it’s a genre of books published between World War II and the height of the Cold War, written by women primarily about the concerns and fears of women of the day. These novels and stories operate on the ground level, peer into marriages whose hairline fractures will crack wide open, turn ordinary household chores into potential for terror, and transform fears about motherhood into horrifying reality. They deal with class and race, sexism and economic disparity, but they have little need to show off that breadth.
Instead, they turn our most deep-seated worries into narrative gold, delving into the dark side of human behavior that threatens to come out with the dinner dishes, the laundry, or taking care of a child. They are about ordinary, everyday life, and that’s what makes these novels of domestic suspense so frightening. The nerves they hit are really fault lines."
It sounds fascinating to me from a historical perspective and from an entertainment perspective. I suspect it will also appeal to fans of noir fiction.