Horror Fiction in the 20th Century
Exploring Literature's Most Chilling Genre
by Jess Nevins
January 2020, 277pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6205-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6206-9
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Horror fiction, from the most pulpish to the most artistic and literary, is a constant in the literature of not only the United States and Great Britain but of numerous other countries as well.

Providing an indispensable resource for academics as well as readers interested in the evolution of horror fiction in the 20th century, this book provides a readable yet critical guide to global horror fiction and authors.

Horror Fiction in the 20th Century encompasses the world of 20th-century horror literature and explores it in a critical but balanced fashion. Readers will be exposed to the world of horror literature, a truly global phenomenon during the 20th century.

Beginning with the modern genre’s roots in the 19th century, the book proceeds to cover 20th-century horror literature in all of its manifestations, whether in comics, pulps, paperbacks, hardcover novels, or mainstream magazines, and from every country that produced it. The major horror authors of the century receive their due, but the works of many authors who are less well-known or who have been forgotten are also described and analyzed. In addition to providing critical assessments and judgments of individual authors and works, the book describes the evolution of the genre and the major movements within it.

Horror Fiction in the 20th Century stands out from its competitors and will be of interest to its readers because of its informed critical analysis, its unprecedented coverage of female authors and writers of color, and its concise historical overview.


  • Covers both the best-known authors of horror literature and a large number of lesser-known or forgotten authors whose work would reward searching out by modern readers
  • Is unprecedented in its coverage of international horror literature and includes dozens of authors whose horror fiction has never before been translated into English
  • Covers the major 20th century developments and movements within horror literature in one volume, in a linear and chronological manner
  • Is a corrective to decades of sexist, racist, colonialist, and provincial horror criticism
Jess Nevins is an instruction and reference librarian at Lone Star College-Tomball. His most recent books are Horror Needs No Passport: 20th Century Horror Literature Outside the U.S. and U.K. (2018) and The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger: The 4,000-Year History of the Superhero (2017).


2021 Outstanding Reference Source—Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), February 4, 2021


"Horror Fiction in the 20th Century is both an educational and informational resource that is thoroughly researched and inclusive of the genre in all its forms. Perhaps even more valuable, it serves as an indispensable resource for your next thrilling horror read."—Kirkus Reviews, February 21, 2020

"At long last, the horror genre has been mapped. Those who wish to explore its dark forests, haunted cities and cursed monuments will now have the perfect starting point."—Women Write About Comics, May 12, 2020

"Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2021
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