34. Contemporary Women's Gothic: From Lost Souls to Twilight

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Gina Wisker

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch34

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Wisker, G. (2013) Contemporary Women's Gothic: From Lost Souls to Twilight, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch34

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395



  • Women;
  • Contemporary;
  • Gothic;
  • Vampire;
  • Werewolf;
  • Lesbian;
  • Family;
  • Domestic


Tracking down and mapping contemporary women's Gothic is like trying to seek out and capture a vampire, one of its favorite characters. It shape shifts, it travels, and reappears in a different guise in other lands and cultures related to history, concerns, and customs. It lives amongst us as an everyday creature, and it re-emerges as a violent, surprising intrusion into complacency, undermining securities of identity, relationships, domesticity, and cultural norms. The moment of Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls (1992) marks a new peak of women's Gothic writing, and the characteristics of that radical text catch and identify, lay out a blueprint, for a variety of US-located and originated women's Gothic texts for several years to come. The moment of the Twilight series signals that much contemporary women's Gothic is mainstreamed, and uses the characteristics of the literary and filmic Gothic to teach not radical critique and the questioning of social givens of identity, relationships, and domestic security, but instead a reinforcement of family values, of a sort.