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Releases February 2023

Unquiet Spirits: Essays By Asian Women in Horror

Unquiet Spirits - final cover.jpg

Unquiet Spirits

Essays by Asian Women in Horror

Lee Murray  & Angela Yuriko Smith (eds)

 Foreword by Lisa Kroger

From hungry ghosts, vampiric babies, and shapeshifting fox spirits to the avenging White Lady of urban legend, for generations, Asian women’s roles have been shaped and defined through myth and story. In Unquiet Spirits, Asian writers of horror reflect on the impact of superstition, spirits, and the supernatural in this unique collection of 21 personal essays exploring themes of otherness, identity, expectation, duty, and loss, and leading, ultimately, to understanding and empowerment.

Black Spot Books  / Preorder HERE 

Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Asian Studies

9781645481294, 1645481298

For reviewer ARCs, see Net Galley & Edelweiss

Table of Contents

  • Nadia Bulkin: Becoming Ungovernable: Latah, Amok, and Disorder in Indonesia. Comparing male versus female “berserker” states in Indonesia.

  • Grace Chan: Holy Revelations. Juxtaposition of Christian spirituality and Asian expectations in the Asian-Australian immigrant experience.

  • Eliza Chan: Lucky Numbers, Or Why 28 > 58 East versus West numerology and the converging influences of superstition.

  • doungjai gam: tethered chokeholds The naphiron (tree with women-fruit to be consumed) and conflicting Thai American expectations of filial duty.

  • Tori Eldridge: The Agency of Modern Kunoichi: The Women of Ninja Stealth and Perseverance Empowerment and agency of the Kunochi warrior woman: historical and modern perspectives.

  • Geneve Flynn: Some Things Are Dangerous, But Can Be Lived With: The Ghost Baby of Malaysian Mythology A personal experience of the kwee kia ghost baby as a symbol of generational grief.

  • Vanessa Fogg: Hungry Ghosts in America Expectation, education, and self-actualisation observed through the lens of Asian hungry ghost mythology.

  • Kiyomi Appleton Gaines: Plant a Cherry Tree over my Grave Japanese mountain witches and notions of motherhood and monstrous.

  • Ai Jiang: The Unvoiced, The Unheard, The Unknown, The Unquiet Exploring Asian traditional expectations of womanhood and identity.

  • K.P. Kulski: 100 Livers Identity and loss as seen through the shapeshifting kumiho (Korean Fox spirit)

  • Gabriela Lee: Sightings Predation and consumption of Asian women as evidenced in current events and the White Lady of Balete Drive (Philippines).

  • JAW McCarthy: Thai Spirits & Longing to Belong Krasue, pret, and phi pop, and lived experience of identity and otherness at the intersection of culture.

  • Rena Mason: Lady Nak of Phra Khanong: A Life Inspired by the Female Duality Archetype Thai ghosts, phi, Mae Nak (the lady of Pra Khanong), loss, expectation, and filial guilt.

  • Lee Murray: Displaced Spirits: Ghosts of the Diaspora Displacement, generational loss, and persecution as hungry ghost spirits.

  • Celine Murray: Fox Daughter Through the huli jing (Chinese fox spirit) a young woman reconciles identity, otherness, and belonging.

  • Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito: Belonging to Fear Horror and myth as an integral part of the Asian immigrant experience.

  • Angela Yuriko Smith: Tearing Ourselves Apart: The Nukekubi Displacement, sacrifice, and authenticity as experienced through the disembodied head of the nukekubi.

  • Christina Sng: The Demon-Haunted Girl The Pontianak as a symbol of vengeance for centuries of abuse and predation of Asian women.

  • Yvette Tan: Fallen Leaves, New Soil Blending of Christian and Chinoy cultural values as observed in a Filipino upbringing

  • Benebell Wen: Ghost Month in Taiwan A family suffering generations of longing and loss is rescued from the clutches of hungry ghost demons.

  • Yi Izzy Yu: The Substitute Marriage and our authentic selves as viewed through the tisigui (substitute-seeking ghost). 

Praise for Unquiet Spirits

"Unquiet Spirits is a collection of intimate, insightful essays that will become essential reading for those looking to understand the voice of women of the Asian diaspora in horror. I can’t overstate how important this book is." —Priya Sharma, British Fantasy award-winning author of Ormeshadow


"As an expert in the paranormal I’ve researched ghosts around the globe, but there’s a vast gulf between studying hungry ghosts and fox spirits in scholarly journals, and reading first-hand experience of these extraordinary stories. The pieces in Unquiet Spirits are beautiful, enlightening, poignant, and yes, haunting. This is a must-have book for anyone who is interested in the folklore of Asia and how it has impacted the lives of the women actually living it." —Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Ghosts: A Haunted History


"A haunting and phenomenally intriguing undertaking. With the variety of perspectives, Unquiet Spirits is powerful, poignant, and very, very moving. An emotionally draining experience in the best way possible!" —Steve Stred, Splatterpunk-nominated author of Sacrament and Mastodon, and reviewer at Kendall Reviews

“To be heard is a very powerful thing indeed, but first we have to speak. The unique voices in these essays take us into the ways each author’s culture honors troubled spirits who enter their homes and souls. There are no simple ghostly shadows here, but a captivating collection of hungry, neglected, abused ancestral beings, with each piece ending in a treasure trove of reference material to inspire and teach. I freely embrace being an unquiet human.”
—Linda D. Addison, award-winning author, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and SFPA Grand Master.

“Fierce and fervid, Unquiet Spirits is a grand achievement in its honesty and emotional depth. The pieces within range from academic to conversational and in between—but all shed light on identities and struggles which our world has often tried to quiet. But more than a grand achievement, this collection deserves ascent to the literary canon for both the Asian diaspora and feminism. I’ll be shelving my copy alongside the essays of Joanna Russ. Murray and Smith have assembled what could very well be the defining next generation of voices for these intersectional topics. For those interested in horror, women in literature, the Asian diaspora, equality and identity -- this volume is a must.” —Austin Gragg, Editor-in-Chief at Space & Time Magazine


“Raw, emotional, honest, and empowering.” —Amanda Headlee for The Horror Tree

Unquiet Spirits is a literary social inspection that should be in the libraries of a diverse range of collections, from those featuring horror literature to libraries looking for expanded insights into women's history, Asian women's experiences, and the power of supernatural forces in cultural representations. A powerhouse of cultural revelation.—Midwest Book Review


Articles, Interviews, Reviews, and Blogs

Sci-fi Now: Unquiet Spirits: Asian Women in Horror Cover Review and Sneak Peak

Gingernuts of Horror: Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, excerpts and cover reveal

The Horror Tree -- Epeolatry book review by Amanda Headlee


Panel Interview: Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn, Angela Yuriko Smith, Christina Sng, Rena Mason, and K.P. Kulski

by Frances Lu-Pai-Ippolito

Unquiet Spirits: Monster Librarian Review

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