Queer Horror Stories
Where: New York Public Library—Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library
476 Fifth Ave. (42nd St. Entrance)
212-340-0863 Price: Free
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As a genre horror has always been transgressive. New works by Cristina Rivera Garza and Samantha Hunt reveal the special power in queer horror writing to defy norms of gender and sexuality.
From Carmilla and Dracula to It Follows and The Babadook, horror has long demonstrated its ability to break boundaries by reframing contemporary social and cultural tensions into narrative themes of terror and anxiety. Whatever phobia may dominate a particular cultural conversation or broader moment in time—xeno, homo, trans, to name a few—horror stories don’t just scare readers, they push back on the social norms that give rise to such fears. Samantha Hunt, Cristina Rivera Garza and Chavisa Woods discuss new works of queer horror that both resist some of our current cultural conventions and also break new literary ground.
In her short story collection The Dark Dark, Samantha Hunt defies narrative expectations, imagining numerous ways in which the weird might poke its way through the mundane. The stories feature girls turning into women, women turning into deer, and people doubling or becoming ghosts, among other transformations. Cristina Rivera Garza’s novel The Iliac Crest begins in the tradition of many great horror tales, on a dark and stormy night. Two mysterious women invade an unnamed narrator’s house and ruthlessly question their unwilling host’s identity, claiming that they know his greatest secret, that he is, in fact, a woman. As the frantic host fails to defend his masculinity, the end—whether his, theirs, or both—looms. Moderated by Chavisa Woods, author of the short story collection Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country.
The authors will perform short readings; conversation and Q&A will follow.
Mid-Sentence presents a series of conversations with groundbreaking literary voices. Indie authors and cult favorites explore the intersections between literature and lived experience.
FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED
For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A stand by line will form one hour before the program.
The Programming Room opens at 6 PM.