Class and Horror Fiction at Mid-Century

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This chapter explores the changes that took place during the mid-century period when many of the previous avenues for horror writers and their work started to close. What resulted was an often conscious hybridisation of the genre that saw writers such as Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, Shirley Jackson, and Robert Bloch look backwards to the urban Gothic work of the nineteenth century. However, this chapter argues that whereas older writers frequently demonised those that they wrote about, in the post-war period changing sensibilities to the economically marginalised meant that many genre writers increasingly employed psychologically realist approaches to both, evoke sympathy for those living in poverty, and encourage the reader to ask questions about the inequity of US society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Horror Fiction and Class
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-53280-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-53279-4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Sep 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Gothic (PAGO)
PublisherPalgrave, Macmillan, London


  • Class fiction
  • Horror fiction
  • Mid-century
  • Class
  • Horror


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