2023 Lambda Literary Award Winner 2023 Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Superior Achievement in a Novel
For fans of Mexican Gothic, from three-time Bram Stoker Award–winning author Gwendolyn Kiste comes a novel inspired by the untold stories of forgotten women in classic literature—from Lucy Westnera, a victim of Stoker’s Dracula, and Bertha Mason, Mr. Rochester’s attic-bound wife in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre—as they band together to combat the toxic men bent on destroying their lives, set against the backdrop of the Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury, 1967.
Reluctant Immortals is a historical horror novel that looks at two men of classic literature, Dracula and Mr. Rochester, and the two women who survived them, Bertha and Lucy, who are now undead immortals residing in Los Angeles in 1967 when Dracula and Rochester make a shocking return in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
Combining elements of historical and gothic fiction with a modern perspective, in a tale of love and betrayal and coercion, Reluctant Immortals is the lyrical and harrowing journey of two women from classic literature as they bravely claim their own destiny in a man’s world.
Gwendolyn Kiste is the three-time Bram Stoker Award–winning author of The Rust Maidens, Reluctant Immortals, Boneset & Feathers, Pretty Marys All in a Row, and The Haunting of Velkwood. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in outlets including LitHub, NightmareMagazine, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vastarien, Tor’s Nightfire, The Lineup, and The Dark. She’s a Lambda Literary Award winner, and her fiction has also received the This Is Horror Award for Novel of the Year as well as nominations for the Premios Kelvin, Ignotus, and Dragon Awards. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, their excitable calico cat, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at GwendolynKiste.com.
“This is a timely and entertaining tale… Kiste wraps it all together in a package that never feels preachy and has the flair one would expect from an author of her caliber.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“An engrossing thought experiment that reexamines classic literature through a 21st century lens... The novel is a timely metaphor for women refusing to stay quiet about the abuse they’ve undergone.” —Criminal Element
“An ode to forgotten women everywhere, a tale where every detail satisfyingly matters as readers rush to the emotional conclusion… Kiste’s first book from a major publishing house brings her award-winning, feminism-fueled horror to more readers.” —Library Journal
“The award-winning Kiste delves into the never-changing existence of two misunderstood, undead survivors of intimidation and violence… Fans of Gothic horror with a literary twist will be delighted.” —Booklist