The Written Dead

Essays on the Literary Zombie


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About the Book

From Victor Halperin’s White Zombie (1932) to George A. Romero’s landmark Night of the Living Dead (1968) and AMC’s hugely successful The Walking Dead (2010–), zombie mythology has become an integral part of popular culture. In a reversal of the typical pattern of adaptation, the zombie developed onscreen before appearing in short stories and comic books during the 20th century, and more recently as subjects of more traditional novels. This collection of new essays examines some of the most influential and inventive zombie literature, from the early stories to the most recent narratives, including some told from a zombie perspective.

About the Author(s)

Kyle William Bishop is an associate professor of English and film studies and serves as the Honors Program director at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. He has presented and published on a number of zombie-related texts and has authored two other monographs with McFarland.
Angela Tenga is an assistant professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. She has offered numerous presentations about the undead, and her work on zombies and other monsters has appeared in Gothic Studies, Supernatural Studies, and The Journal of Popular Culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kyle William Bishop and Angela Tenga
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6564-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2968-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface: A Note from the Editors 1

Introduction: The Rise of the Written Dead (Angela Tenga and Kyle William Bishop) 2

Section One: Zombie Literature—First Words, Baby Steps

Trailing the Zombie Through Modern and Contemporary

Anglophone Literature (Kevin Alexander Boon) 15

The Attributes and Qualifiers of Literary Zombies (Bernard Perron) 27

Love, Connection and Intimacy in Zombie Short Fiction (Laura Hubner) 40

Section Two: Max Brooks—Rite of Passage

Analyzing Late Modernity with a Corpse: Max Brooks’

Zombie Understanding of Modernity (Marcus Leaning) 55

Dispatches of the Dead: World War Z and the ­Post-Vietnam

Combat Memoir (W. Scott Poole) 67

Section Three: The Zombie Novel—Coming of Age

Carrie Ryan’s Romance of the Forest: Mudos, Young Adult

Novels and the Gothic (Cory James Rushton) 85

Toward a Genealogy of the American Zombie Novel:

From Jack London to Colson Whitehead (Wylie Lenz) 98

“Systems Die Hard”: Resistance and Reanimation in Colson Whitehead’s Zone One (Kelli Shermeyer) 120

Section Four: Revisionist Novels—Entering Maturity

“Condemned to history by the Hate”: David J. Moody’s

Hater and Postmillennial Rage (Dawn Keetley) 133

The Psychosomatic Zombie Man: The Postmodern Subject

in Warm Bodies (Steven Holmes) 145

Feeding the Frenzy: Mira Grant’s Feed (Arnold T. Blumberg) 156

Teaching Zombies, Developing Students: Pedagogical

Success in The Girl with All the Gifts (Kyle William Bishop) 167

Desiring Machines: Zombies, Automata and Cormac

McCarthy’s The Road (Jesse Stommel) 183

Afterword: The Zombie Is Dead: Long Live the Zombie (Robert G. Weiner) 194

Filmography 197

Bibliography 199

About the Contributors 210

Index 213

Book Reviews & Awards

“The 13 essays in this volume examine zombies and their cultural, social, and literary significance in stories, novels, and narratives”—ProtoView.