Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Seven novels that blend romance & body horror

Rachel Harrison is the author of Such Sharp Teeth, Cackle, and The Return, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Guernica, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, as an Audible Original, and in her debut story collection Bad Dolls. She lives in Western New York with her husband and their cat/overlord.

At Electric Lit Harrison tagged seven books that "blend elements of body horror and romance, both conventionally and unconventionally, with beautifully grim and sometimes gruesome results." One title on the list:
The Seas by Samantha Hunt

“I stand naked, looking at Jude, concentrating on becoming one hundred percent water so that I could slip down the drain and out to sea or at least I could slip down Jude’s wrong pipe and fill his lungs, lovingly washing away every breath he takes.”

In Samantha Hunt’s The Seas, our 19-year-old unnamed protagonist suspects she’s a mermaid. Her father vanished into the sea years ago and left her to pine in a small, sad coastal town. She’s hopelessly in love with a haunted local veteran, Jude, though their bond proves complicated. More poignant and heart-wrenching than horrifying, The Seas is about how grief, loneliness, and love—especially our first love—can alter us forever.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue