Friday, September 15, 2023

Seven books about women committing acts of violence

A queer writer and Irish-American dual citizen, Francesca McDonnell Capossela grew up in New York City and holds an M. Phil from Trinity College Dublin. Her publication credits include the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Point Magazine, Banshee, Columbia Journal, Guesthouse (forthcoming), and two anthologies: Dark Matter Presents: Human Monsters (2022) and Teaching Nabokov’s Lolita in the #MeToo Era (2021).

Her first novel, Trouble the Living, is out now. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Lyra.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books "in which women have twisted desires or commit acts of vengeance in the name of some greater cause. These are books that flip the paradigm we’ve learned—bad man, battered woman—on its head, and show women as devastatingly powerful and wonderfully, frighteningly violent." One title on the list:
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Set in sprawling, sweltering Lagos, My Sister the Serial Killer tells the story of two sisters: Ayoola, a beautiful fashion designer, and Korede, a nurse. Ayoola is—you guessed it!—a serial killer. Or, at least, she has a habit of killing her boyfriends. Against her will, Korede has again and again been put in charge of the post-murder cleanup, rescuing Ayoola from her own messes. After yet another murder, Korede begins to wonder why she is helping her sister and why Ayoola is killing her boyfriends in the first place. Maybe, we learn, it has something to do with the sisters’ shared trauma. Maybe Ayoola just needs the power rush. Maybe all the men are violent, as she claims and Korede doubts. Ultimately, the novel playfully suggests that killing—and getting away with it—might really be a woman’s game.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Sister the Serial Killer is among Tessa Wegert's five thrillers about killer relatives, Catherine Ryan Howard's five notable dangers-of-dating thrillers, Sally Hepworth's top five novels about twisted sisters, Megan Nolan's six books on unrequited love and unmet obsession, Sarah Pinborough's top ten titles where the setting is a character, Tiffany Tsao's top five novels about murder all in the family, Victoria Helen Stone's eight top crime books of deep, dark family lore, and Kristen Roupenian's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue