Thursday, June 29, 2017

Theodora Goss

Theodora Goss's debut novel is The Strange Case of the Alechemist’s Daughter. From her Q&A with Ardi Alspach for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter shows a woman’s version of classics like The Island of Dr. Moreau, “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” Frankenstein, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What prompted you to tell their stories? And why these monsters in particular?

It all started in graduate school. I was writing a doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century gothic fiction, which is a more academic way of saying that I was writing about monsters. And I noticed that in most of the novels I was reading (basically the ones you mentioned, plus some others like Dracula), there was something going on with female monsters. For example, in Frankenstein, it’s important that Victor starts to create a female monster, but then disassembles her because she could mate with his male monster, and their offspring could outcompete human beings. In The Island of Dr. Moreau, for most of the novel, Moreau is trying to turn a puma into one of his Beast Folk. The Puma Woman he creates eventually kills him, but she is also killed in the process. She’s not mentioned very much in the novel—she’s both central and peripheral.

It seemed to me that in these novels, female monsters were particularly deadly, often deadlier than the male monsters. But...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue