Saturday, October 28, 2017

Five books featuring psychological hauntings

Sarah Porter is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience.

Her new novel is When I Cast Your Shadow.

One of Porter's five favorite books featuring psychological hauntings, as shared at
Beloved by Toni Morrison

The ghost as embodied mass trauma.

The most visionary of ghost stories suggests that individual tragedies may not be self-contained, but instead express an immense and devastating communal inheritance channeled through personal grief. After Sethe kills her two-year-old daughter to save the child from being returned to slavery, Beloved first manifests as a fairly classic poltergeist, venting her rage against her family. Later, though, she comes to Sethe as something much greater. Incarnate in the dewy, teenaged beauty that should have been hers, Beloved enacts infantile hunger, love, longing, and destructiveness. But behind her tantrums, Beloved keeps the secret of memories that she cannot communicate. She is not just the ghost of one little girl, but also the ghost of the Middle Passage’s uncountable victims. The trauma of her early death cannot be separated from the larger traumas of slavery. History haunts Beloved’s family through her; it returns embodied in a girl delicate, violent, and infinitely sad.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Beloved also appears on Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis' list of ten books that were subject to silencing or censorship, Jeff Somers's list of ten fictional characters based on real people, Christopher Barzak's top five list of books about magical families, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's ten top list of wartime love stories, Judith Claire Mitchell's list of ten of the best (unconventional) ghosts in literature, Kelly Link's list of four books that changed her, a list of four books that changed Libby Gleeson, The Telegraph's list of the 15 most depressing books, Elif Shafak's top five list of fictional mothers, Charlie Jane Anders's list of ten great books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy, Peter Dimock's top ten list of books that challenge what we think we know as "history", Stuart Evers's top ten list of homes in literature, David W. Blight's list of five outstanding novels on the Civil War era, John Mullan's list of ten of the best births in literature, Kit Whitfield's top ten list of genre-defying novels, and at the top of one list of contenders for the title of the single best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years.

--Marshal Zeringue