Caitlín R. Kiernan: A Critical Study of Her Dark Fiction
Caitlín R. Kiernan is at the forefront of contemporary gothic, weird and science fiction literature. She has written more than a dozen novels, over 250 short stories, many chapbooks, along with a large number of graphic works. For these Kiernan has won numerous awards. This first full-length look at Kiernan’s body of work explores her fictional universe through critical literary lenses to show the depth of her contributions to modern genre literature.
A prolific and creative writer, Kiernan’s fictions bring to life our fears about the other, the unknown, and the future through stories that range widely across time and space. A sense of dark terror pervades her novels and stories. Yet Kiernan’s fictional universe is not disengaged from reality. That is because she works within the long tradition of gothic fiction speaking to the gravest ethical, social and cultural issues. In her dark fiction, Kiernan illustrates the terror of the tyranny of the normal, the oppression of marginalized people, and the pervasive violence of our time. Her dystopian sf propels today’s dangerous economic, social, political and environmental tendencies into the future. Kiernan’s fiction portrays troubling truths about the current human condition.