Books in 5 Bites – a series on books you should read and the reasons why.
What are the hallmarks of gothic fiction?
1. Ghosts and grief
2. Horror and hauntings
3. Portents and powerlessness
4. Real estate and remorse
5. Secrets and sexual awakening
Gothic fiction offers both readers and writers a chance to dig into the subconsciousness, to revel in symbolism and venture into the darker side of the human psyche. It loves shadow characters, undertows and the macabre. Reading it, you enter a world that is familiar but different – an estranged lover cries out to you through untold miles, messages appear on walls, you enter a pact with a husband who is not quite your actual husband… Objects and places acquire significance – the red room, a handkerchief embroidered with confident initials, the things you share with your sister.
Writing it, you access a world of dreams and possibilities that are hinged to, but not reliant on our ordinary world. The gothic offers a chance to view reality through a hall of mirrors – a challenging liberation.
Stay tuned for more bites of gothic fiction.