13 female horror writers you should read

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Poster from the 2012 film, The Howling, adapted from Nonami’s book, The Hunter (Image via Opus Pictures/Film Poeta)

10.) Asa Nonami

Asa Nonami is a Japanese crime fiction and horror writer that may not be well known among American horror fans. Though she works in genres frequently dominated by men, Nonami has become an acclaimed writer of gothic suspense. She has won the Japan Mystery Suspense Award, the Naoki Prize, and the Chuokoron Prize for Literature in 2012.

Often, her writing features strong, capable female characters. In The Hunter, readers meet Takako Otomichi, a former patrol officer turned detective. Otomichi is partnered with an older detective and both must work together to solve a series of mysterious deaths. Now You’re One of Us, her 2007 novel, is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. In it, a young bride becomes caught up with her increasingly strange new family and encounters unsettling truths about her new living situation.

Where to start
Body is Nonami’s 2012 collection of short stories. As the title indicates, each story focuses on someone’s perception of their body, and in particular on the horrifying consequences of pride, obsession and low self-esteem. Each story reveals the potential for darkness and horror residing inside each of us.

Though the collection has been well-reviewed, don’t try to power through this entire book in one sitting. Nonami’s stories are intense and dark. They’re best enjoyed when read one at a time and with enough space to enjoy each story on its own merits.