Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror cover reveal and sneak peek

Unquiet Spirits is latest from Murray and Smith’s Bram Stoker Award®-winning series on Asian women in horror and we reveal the cover PLUS give a sneak peek…

Unquiet Spirits Cover

Hungry ghosts, vampiric babies, shapeshifting fox spirits to the avenging White Lady of urban legend… Unquiet Spirits has them all! We’re not only delighted to reveal the striking cover for the upcoming book above, but we’re giving you a sneak peek by revealing a foreword sampler from award-winning writer Lisa Kröger.

Here is the official synopsis for Unquiet Spirits

For generations, Asian women’s roles have been shaped and defined through myth and story. In Unquiet Spirits, Asian writers of horror reflect on the impact of superstition, spirits, and the supernatural in this unique collection of personal essays exploring themes of otherness, identity, expectation, duty, and loss, and leading, ultimately, to understanding and empowerment.

These women share what it is like to live with unquiet spirits—ghosts,
demons, witches and vampires—common to the Asian experience. Articulate, they catalogue pain, humiliation, denial, and hunger through a supernatural lens, proving that the spirit world is a mirror image of our own – the horror is on both sides of the veil.

Unquiet Spirits is the third in Murray and Smith’s Bram Stoker Award®-winning series on Asian women in horror, which includes the poetry collection Tortured Willows and fiction short story collection Black Cranes. Here in our foreward sampler for the book, writer Lisa Kröger writes about heritage, women in horror, identity and how a ghost is a powerful thing to try and control…

“These are deeply personal thoughts. Within these pages, there are essays about women uncovering their lineage, digging deep for a thread that they can follow, a path that will connect them to those who came before and finally back to themselves. In her essay, Lee Murray explains this connection: ‘Raised on tales of Red Riding Hood and of the Māori goddess of death, Hine-nui-te-pō, I am defined by my mixed heritage, my experience, and my love for the land which birthed me. Mine is not my grandmother’s experience, nor is it my mother’s, yet I carry them with me; their decisions, their sacrifices, made in my name, give me strength.’

“As I was researching Monster, She Wrote, I uncovered a long literary lineage of women who had written horror, women who had come before me, who had experienced the birth pains of creation, allowing for the space for me to enter. It was a humbling experience, this connection with my literary foremothers.

“It is this connection to foremothers that connects each and every essay in this anthology. By interacting with the folklore, the stories, the legends, and the ghosts of their pasts, each of these women have reckoned with not only parts of their identity that were previously hidden from them, but they also found inspiration for their own writing. In this book, there’s a connection to spirits here, to ghosts—because of the power that exists in that role. A ghost is a powerful thing to try and control.

“When women have no voice, no choice, they will seek that control wherever they can find it, even if that means shedding their mortal lives for a taste of power in the spiritual form of the ghost. It’s almost as if losing a body somehow helps a quiet woman to move into a space that she can fully inhabit, where she can turn her whisper into a roar and finally fully satiate the hunger that has always lived within her.

“As women, we live with the weight of expectation—the expectation of what it means to be a woman, as told to us by the world around us. It’s a game we had no choice in; we were in the middle of it before we agreed to play. And in that arena, we often lose sight of ourselves. Angela Yuriko Smith illustrates the subject at the heart of this anthology when she writes: “These are stories of women who have given themselves away in pieces.”

“Now, through the eyes of these writers, the women are being pieced together again—through the power of the ghost story.”

Unquiet Spirits is published by Black Spot Books on 14 February, 2023. Pre order here.