woc horror blog pic final

It’s September and for me finally the beginning of the creepy season, huzzah! I’ll just ignore that last small heat wave this week, go away please summer, I have my tea and candles and creepy reads ready! I have a lot of books on my tbr that fall under speculative, horror and mystery, but I’m also working towards seeking out and supporting more women writers of Color. I’ve chosen horror because it’s a genre I’ve been wanting to explore more and because, like science-fiction and fantasy,  horror can offer women of Color a space in which to disturb social conventions and transgress boundaries.

This here is a list of 10 works by WoC writers that can be considered horror (often also fantasy) and some of which may be new to you as well. Let’s start with a better known one:


White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi gr-pic

Haunted house story and a reworking of the gothic trope, Oyeyemi’s work is a psychological fest around trauma, racism and a sentient house set in Dover, England. I hope I’ll get to read it finally for RIPXI.

fabulous beasts

Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma gr-pic

This is a novelette or short story about two sisters or cousins and childhood abuse set in gritty Liverpool. Apparently it’s super disturbing and comes with trigger warnings for abuse, rape and incest, yikes! It’s published by TOR though.

alyssa wong

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong gr-pic

Silicon recommended Alyssa Wong’s stories to me and I’ll definitely read at least one this fall since her recs are always on point. This story has also received the Nebula Award for Best Short Fiction. It’s got a vampire and is about dating and relationships!

rena mason

The Evolutionist by Rena Mason gr-pic

Set in the suburbs of Las Vegas, Stacy keeps dreaming about killing and dismembering people. She feels she’s just a normal person having very vivid nightmares and so Stacy goes to see a psychiatrist, he turns out to be not quite so normal.

unhallowed graves

Unhallowed Graves by Nuzo Onoh gr-pic

“Oja-ale is the night market run by the dead. Everything can be bought for a deadly price. Alan Pearson is a sceptical British diplomat, contemptuous and dismissive of native superstitions…Until the day he receives a terrifying purchase from the Night Market, which defies Western science and logic.” (GR) Onoh is “queen of African horror.”


Solitude by Sumiko Saulson gr-pic

“Solitude is the riveting tale of diverse individuals isolated in a San Francisco seemingly void of all other human life. In the absence of others, each journeys into personal web of beliefs and perceptions as they try to determine what happened to them, and the world around them.” (GR) Saulson also curates a Black women in horror list here.


Crescendo by L. Marie Woods gr-pic

 James’ comfortable life changes when he begins having nightmares after his lover’s death. A family curse, can he do anything or is this his destiny? Everyone in his family has secrets. Set in tranquil Rockland County, New York.

kristine ong muslim

Age of Blight by Kristine Ong Muslim gr-pic

“What if the end of man is not caused by some cataclysmic event, but by the nature of humans themselves? In Age of Blight, a young scientist’s harsh and unnecessary experiments on monkeys are recorded for posterity; children are replaced by their doppelgangers, which emerge like flowers in their backyards; and two men standing on opposing cliff faces bear witness to each other’s terrifying ends.” (GR) A collection of short stories with illustrations.

linda ddison

How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison gr-pic

“From the first African-American to receive the HWA Bram Stoker award, this collection of both horror and science fiction short stories and poetry reveals demons in the most likely people (like a jealous ghost across the street) or in unlikely places (like the dimension-shifting dreams of an American Indian). Recognition is the first step, what you do with your friends/demons after that is up to you.” (GR)

due-soul to keep

My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due gr-pic

And of course one of my favorite writers! Last year I read Due’s The Good House and it was wonderfully atmospheric and I will make to read this one in broad daylight.

“When Jessica marries David, he is everything she wants in a family man: brilliant, attentive, ever youthful. Yet she still feels something about him is just out of reach. Soon, as people close to Jessica begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, David makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago, he and other members of an Ethiopian sect traded their humanity so they would never die, a secret he must protect at any cost. Now, his immortal brethren have decided David must return and leave his family in Miami.” (GR)


And a great opportunity to read horror and more with other book bloggers is Carl’s wonderful yearly challenge, R.I.P. – Readers Imbibing Peril, going on right now! It’s a book blogging institution and now in its 11th year. The challenge takes place from September 1st, 2016 through October 31st, 2016 and offers many different levels and genres, there’s something for everyone in it. Sign up here. I’ll be doing Peril the Second, but I hope I’ll read much more than two creepy reads.

Definitely take a look at Sharlene’s wonderful recs for a more diverse R.I.P here, she has great recommendation for all RIP genres, I know I’ll be reading The Hunter.

Lastly, check out my Queer Horror post for some creepy reading with LGBTQIA+ themes.

What are you all reading this creepy season? Let me know in the comments!

51 thoughts on “Women of Color & Horror: 10 On My TBR

  1. Thanks for sharing my link! The one that definitely caught my eye is Solitude by Sumiko Paulson and I’m hoping to read The Devourers soon! Great post as always!

  2. Wonderful list, Bina! The Devourers looks wonderful! And Nuzo Know – I so want to read her book! And Tananarive Due – there is an Ethiopian sect in it? I so want to read that! Thanks for the inspiration, Bina!

    1. Sorry that is Nuzo Onoh! Autocorrect is giving me hell! Or was it a genie hiding in my keypad?? After all it is RIP month 😂

      1. Haha definitely, this always happens to me too!! Glad you liked the list, Vishy, and hope you’ll enjoy them. I adore Due’s works and just finished Unhallowed Graves, it’s soo good!!

    1. Yay glad you’re doing RIP too, Laila! Heh I’m much more wimpy than I used to be, must be old Age😁 Have u read The Jumbies? It’s MG horror lit and wonderful and doable for the faint of heart!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Oh yeah I get ya! Maybe try some MG lit? I loved The Jumbies, it’s got wonderful Caribbean folklore and is only a little creepy, but read in daylight😉

  3. This is such a great list! I’ve been really wanting to read The Devourers, and Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers also sounds great (and is apparently free to read online!) Thanks for posting this.

  4. Ooh this is such a cool list, half off which are already in my TBR and the other half has just been added! I’ve been seeing everyone talk about R.I.P and it sounds very cool! I might just sign up for shits and giggles so that I can make a concentrated effort to read these books. Thanks for the links to everybody else’s posts as well!

  5. I haven’t heard of any of these books! Then again, I don’t read a lot of horror (or go looking for it), but still… Can’t wait to see which ones you enjoy the most!

    1. I get that, I’m kinda new to horror as well though I’ve always liked suspenseful lit! So far I really liked Unhallowed Graves! Not in my list but great: The Jumbies, a MG book😃👻

    1. YES I love good covers😃 Oh I get that! I just read a wonderful MG horror book, still creepy but I think most people can take it: The Jumbies.

  6. I only knew about Alyssa Wong’s and Indra Das (he’s a man, btw), so thanks for introducing me to new authors and stories. 🙂
    I don’t read enough horror, though, the genre definitely appeals to me and always has. I’ll definitely add My Soul To Keep to my TBR! I’m looking to read more Queer horror as well, so I’m going to have to do some digging around for that.

    1. Ahh facepalm! Thanks so much for telling me! I know an Indra but she’s a girl so I just assumed🙈 Also now a bit icky about a man writing bout rape even criticallly…Oh well I got just the book to put on the list instead.
      Hope you find more queer horror!! I only got my list to work through for now but also the anthology sounds great “Queers Destroy Horror!”

  7. Love this list! “How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend” is a fabulous title, and if nothing else I’ll definitely have to check out one of those. I’ve got The Good House out of the library at the moment — on your recommendation, probably! — and I’m really looking forward to giving it a go.

    1. I love that title as well! Also I think I remember being a few stories in the horror comedy…which I really like.
      Yes for The Good House! It’s long but I really enjoyed it and the horror moments…creepy!!Hope you’ll like it!

  8. A great rec list. I am not a horror fan myself, mainly turned off from the genre by horror films/movies. But I do tend to like horror novels, because they feel more like thrill/suspenseful to me than scary. Yeah, I don’t like to be scared 🙂

    I definitely added some to my tbr list and realized some were already on my tbr list! Thank you for the rec list!

    1. Heh yeah I find horror books more to my liking than films, but I think my Imagination is worse than what Film can come up with😂
      Hope you’ll find some you like on the list and I also rec The Jumbies which is MG and a bit but not too creepy😃👻

    1. Oh I hope you’ll enjoy her stories in a bright and cheery day then😃 Also, have you read The Jumbies? It’s MG horror, a bit creepy bit excellent and doable for most people I think.

    1. Loved the first part but didn’t get to finish before I moved and now had to wait for the reprint grr. No idea why such a book should be out of print 😦 But yeah it’s absolutely on my RIP list!

        1. Yeah couldn’t get one over here and that always makes used book prices shoot up which is quite annoying. So very happy there’s a reprint now that is available here w normal price etc.

  9. I can’t watch horror but weirdly enough, I can read it. Love Alyssa Wong and Helen Oyeyemi’s work. I want to read Tananarive Due someday.

    1. Yay glad you can read horror! I love Due’s works, slowly making my way through her backlist. She just won Brit fantasy Award for Ghost Summer 😃👻

    1. Heh I get that, it’s getting worse the older I get. But I still try😂 Definitely try The Jumbies perhaps with your kids, it’s MG fiction.

  10. Great list! I’ve only read My Soul to Keep, which I really liked, and a couple of Helen Oyeyemi’s other books (which were also kinda creepy in their own ways). On my own RIPXI stack, I’ve just finished George Eliott Clarke’s Geoge & Rue, which retells the true story of a paif of men who bludgeoned a taxi driver to death and were hanged for the crime. This sounds just brutal – and it is – but GEC is a brilliant poet and he does such beautiful things with words that the story is unputdownable, even though at times you can hardly stand to keep reading (not because of the gore, but the underlying sorrow, often of the men’s own lives and their pasts). One couldn’t call it a horror novel, but it is certainly horrifying!

    1. Oh yay so glad to hear it since I love Due’s works and want to read that one next!😃👻
      The GEC sounds really good and really horrifying!! Glad to hear it’s amazingly written! Need to pop over and look at your RIP stack!!

  11. Omg thanks for this list!
    I’ve been trying to venture into horror reading again. I loved Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr.Fox and will definitely get white is for witching!

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog! Glad the list is helpful to you 🙌 I’m excited to try White is for Witching too, diverse gothic ftw!

    1. Aw thank you! Hope these lists help people realize that no matter their fave genre, women of color have written awesome lit for it✊

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sanura! It’s always so sad to find these white dude lists for every genre but I hope more people will know soon what books to pick up by WoC no matter the genre😊

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