Katherine Mansfield is one of New Zealand’s most famous and influential writers. While her work is well known, many will be surprised to learn that the ‘accepted’ versions of her stories are often pale reflections of the original manuscripts.
Mansfield with Monsters is the first time that Mansfield’s vision of the supernatural has been published in full – a dream that she often spoke of in her correspondence with occultist Aleister Crowley and American author H. P. Lovecraft. Matt and Debbie Cowens have pieced together recently recovered fragments of her work, recreating Mansfield’s beloved tales as they were first written, complete with vampires, ghouls, and alien monsters. These versions will shock and delight those in the literary community who always suspected that there was more to Mansfield's work than we had been led to believe.
Mansfield once wrote, “don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath—as terrible as you like—but a mask.” While we may never know Mansfield’s true face or fate, Matt and Debbie Cowens are proud to draw back the public mask of one of our most beloved authors to reveal the more chilling one beneath.
With the publication of this book, we must now reconsider the ways Katherine Mansfield’s own monumental modernism is nothing less than a significant breeding ground for the development of the truly weird and the frightfully monstrous. – Associate Professor Carl H. Sederholm, Brigham Young University
There is an unknown dark side to Katherine Mansfield, which involves psychics, spirits, monsters, and the occult. This most beguiling of writers, who connected with Aleister Crowley and H. P. Lovecraft, was drawn to the horrors of life. A superb collection of her short stories, this is a much-welcomed new perspective on a writer whose powers to bewitch are becoming ever stronger. – Dr Ian Conrich, University of Essex
My hat is off to the Cowens as I couldn’t tell where the first published works end and the reconstructed stories start – the renovation is flawless. If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a one note song then Mansfield with Monsters is a choral piece of depth and vibrancy. This is a book that should adorn the shelf of every lover of fiction...Mansfield is that good. – Simon Litten, SFFANZ Reviews
Stunning and wonderful... Supremely well achieved... Enormous fun to be had. – Radio New Zealand
Grand fun. The Cowens bring a wicked sense of humour and a keen editorial ear... You never know what the fantasy element in a given story will be, and the uncertainty transforms the reading experience delightfully. More from the Cowens, please. – New Zealand Listener
To put it simply, Mansfield with Monsters is quite brilliant. Funny, dark and seamless – Mansfield’s moody characters only seem enhanced by a bit of blood and gore. Steam Press is the best new New Zealand publisher and I can’t wait to see what’s coming out next. – Herald on Sunday
A sample of this book can be downloaded from here
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