Les Femmes Grotesques
Les Femmes Grotesques was the feminist gothic thrill ride I didn’t know I desperately needed. Each story contained within this slim volume is both absolutely engrossing and deeply unsettling, as Dalpe sweeps you up into her velvety prose to peer into the shadows of the feminine experience. If you can imagine Shirley Jackson collaborating with Margaret Killjoy to write a short story collection that was then edited by Richard Thomas, you’d have a pretty good idea of the scope and superior macabre quality of these gorgeous tales of horror.
From generational curses to captured supernatural brides, the homicidal dangers of first love, and suburban lycanthropy, each story surrounds the reader in a dream-like atmosphere of gothic enchantment. Some of the themes are quite heavy while still residing in the fantastical, but Dalpe is a true master of her craft and she relays the heady and often complicated subject matter with such a flair for the fantastic and otherworldly that it’s easy to imagine your favorite goth auntie reading these stories to you over a steaming cup of (possibly poisoned) tea.
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