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Reading Groups

The Horrors That Haunt Us with Hilary Davidson

4 Monthly Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST January 12 to April 6, 2023

Online via Zoom

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group at a 10% discount from our Bookstore.


Meeting Dates:
1/12, 2/9, 3/9, 4/6
Online via Zoom

Gothic novels often deal with the supernatural, but a powerful tradition of female writers have long employed the genre to explore the terrors and anxieties of the real world. Early examples—such as Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, and Charlotte Brontë—dealt with dark themes including trauma and domestic abuse, tyrannical family and madness. This subgenre of Gothic fiction holds up a mirror that reflects the darkness of the world and the fragility of our bonds with each other.

The authors we read in this course continue that tradition, using tropes of Gothic horror to explore contemporary fears and anxieties. The Gothic tradition exposes the rot beneath grand surfaces—revealing there’s as much terror to be found in a gentrifying neighborhood as in a decaying mansion—and probes the toxic power of family secrets. This diverse group of authors asks who we can trust—and if we can even trust ourselves.

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Led by

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    Hilary Davidson

    Hilary Davidson

    Hilary Davidson is an award-winning novelist and journalist. She is the author of two mystery series, one featuring amateur sleuth Lily Moore (The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises), and the other featuring police detective Sheryn Sterling (One Small Sacrifice and Don’t Look Down). Hilary is also the author of two standalone novels (Her Last Breath and Blood Always Tells), a short-story collection (The Black Widow Club), and some fifty short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Mystery Scene, Beat to a Pulp, and other publications. Her fiction has won two Anthony Awards and a Derringer Award and has been translated into French, German, Russian, Polish, and Hungarian.

    As a journalist, she is the author of 18 nonfiction books and has published work in a wide range of venues including American Archaeology, CNN, Discover, Frommer’s, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Reader’s Digest. Originally from Toronto, she has lived in New York City since October 2001.