Horror Fiction and Class in the Contemporary Period

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


This final chapter explores the importance of class to contemporary instances of horror. Analyzing the myriad ways in which authors such as Thomas Harris, Poppy Z. Brite, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis have developed and built upon established genre trends, it examines the use of the serial killer as a means of questioning class inequality; the self-conscious reengagement with the genre as ‘bad object’ in order to shock the status quo; and the increasingly explicit, though often complex, anti-capitalist sentiment of novels as diverse as Fight Club (1996), Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series, Thomas Ligotti’s My Work Here Is Not Done (2002), and Max Brooks’ World War Z (2006). This chapter concludes that in an era when even the most mainstream of genre novels, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, explicitly situates its central characters in terms of their socio-economic status, class remains one of the most abundant sources for anxiety in the US popular psyche.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Horror Fiction and Class
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages37
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

NameAmerican Horror Fiction and Class


  • Horror Fiction
  • Horror Class
  • Horror
  • Class
  • Contemporary period


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