Books by Michele Slung

Michele Slung’s books include Momilies: As My Mother Used to Say and More Momilies, and the anthologies Crime on Her Mind: Fifteen Stories of Female Sleuths from the Victorian Era to the Forties; Murder & Other Acts of Literature; Stranger: Dark Tales of

STRANGER by Michele Slung
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Now, do you really need a hand with that suitcase, honeybunny?"
The editor of I Shudder at Your Touch and National Geographic's Living with Cannibals and Other Women's Adventures (2000), polyanthologist Slung (erotica, crime detection, hauntings), offers 22 trap-door tales guaranteed to leave you hanging in suspense. Hasn't your mother told you, "Don't talk to strangers, honey—or Alfred Hitchcock'll getcha!" Measuring the smiles of strangers in this toothy collection are Richard Matheson's "Button, Button," Ray Bradbury's "The Town Where No One Got Off," Thomas Disch's "The Asian Shore," Edith Wharton's "Afterward," H. P. Lovecraft's "He," Shirley Jackson's "Jack the Ripper," Patricia Highsmith's "The Nature of the Thing," and Tabitha King's "The Women's Room"—among other reasons for a lonesome single not to leave the TV on and find herself sucked into an eight-year X-Files marathon or, as in Lisa Tuttle's goofy "Honey, I'm Home," serially involved with famed TV husbands like Ricky Ricardo and Leave It to Beaver's Ward Cleaver who've shown up in her kitchen—and bed. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Veteran anthologist Slung avoids the stuffiness attendant on her most distinguished predecessors in the crime-fiction-can-be- literature-too genre (Ellery Queen's Poetic Justice and The Literature of Crime) by loosening her definitions of both crime fiction and literature. Edith Wharton's nightmarish ``A Journey,'' Rudyard Kipling's decorously chilling ``Mary Postgate,'' and John Cheever's deceptively casual ``Montraldo'' are only marginally crime stories; only by stretching a point could the Waspish anecdotes of Evelyn Waugh and A.A. Milne, or the backstage fustian of Louisa May Alcott, be called literature. Yet the two dozen stories she's collected—which also include unexpected entries by W.S. Gilbert, T.H. White, Isak Dinesen, Eudora Welty (an exceptionally creepy little tale), William Trevor (ditto), Patrick O'Brian, Nadine Gordimer, Gabriel Garc°a M†rquez, Muriel Spark, Paul Theroux, Naguib Mahfouz, Alice Walker, Isabel Allende, and Fay Weldon, as well as chestnuts by William Faulkner and James Thurber—however uneven in their melding of literature and crime, are never, ever boring. Though a better title might be Famous Authors Try Their Hands at Crime (Anthony Trollope?! Virginia Woolf?!), Slung's collection is a revelation in more ways than one. (Book-of-the- Month Club main selection) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Eighteen stories, a third of them new, the others (18421992) ranging from the predictable—Poe's ``The Black Cat'' and Ellery Queen's ``The Adventure of the Dead Cat''—to the seldom-seen—Bram Stoker's ``Walpurgis Night'' (interesting mainly as the canceled prologue to Dracula), Robert Bloch's vampire fantasy ``The Cloak,'' Anthony Boucher's tidy, hard-edged whodunit ``Trick-or-Treat''—as well as other reprints by August Derleth (an American happens onto the Guy Fawkes festivities), Talmage Powell (candy bars spiked with razor blades), Gahan Wilson (a memorable neighborhood witch), Judith Garner (an equally unsettling little girl), Edward D. Hoch (Nick Velvet steals a pumpkin), Marcia Muller (a routine homicide for Sharon McCone), and Steven Saylor (Gordianus the Finder vs. the lemures). Of the new stories, the headliner is Peter Straub's overextended but haunting jazz gothic ``Pork Pie Hat''; but the range of the remaining stories—Ed McBain's thuggish trick-or- treaters, Peter Lovesey's satisfyingly detailed gypsy curse, James Grady's wheels within wheels of predatory bullies, Michael Z. Lewin's sad-sack Indianapolis procedural, Dorothy Cannell's whimsical account of detection from beyond the grave—will dispel any fears of formula, leaving only a better grade of fear behind. (Slung edited Slow Hand: Women Writing Erotica, 1992, etc. Hartman is a freelance editor.) No real peaks or valleys here: If you like the concept, you'll like the stories just fine. And the intelligently varied selection produces an anthology that, for once, is greater than the sum of its parts. Read full book review >
FEVER by Michele Slung
Released: Aug. 3, 1994

Editor Slung (Slow Hand, 1992, etc.) has compiled another collection of erotica written by women. Most of the authors are not well-known, and all of the pieces are being published for the first time. Each author has added a note about the writing or the meaning of her story. Slung has selected carefully—to give a sense of range and inclusiveness (aesthetic as well as sexual). There's some basic sweaty bump-and-grind action, some lesbian sex, and some ``wow-I-never-knew-it-could-be-like-this'' writing. And, most amusingly and hot in its own way, is Jenny Diski's ``Yarn,'' a feminist fairy tale in which the narrator, a miller's daughter who speaks disparagingly of someone named ``Chaser, or Chooser, or Chancer,'' also turns the tables on Rumpelstiltskin by giving him such a good roll in the spun straw that he forgets his name. Read full book review >
SLOW HAND by Michele Slung
Released: July 15, 1992

The best of intentions motivated this collection of original erotic stories by and primarily for women. As editor Slung (Women's Wiles, 1979, etc.) explains in her introduction, she wanted to expand the genre on the high end, present fantasies enacted by real women (as opposed to airbrushed nymphets), combat contemporary prudishness, and...well, help women pursue better orgasms. However, in her effort to produce fresh material, Slung has also included a few strikingly unripe entries, like the bludgeoningly obvious ``Leaper,'' about two women who witness a suicide and then have sex, and ``The Footpath of Pink Roses,'' a rape vs. ravishment story that's politically correct to the point of ridiculousness. Things look up when pros like Sara Davidson take their turn. The author of Friends of the Opposite Sex (1984), etc., offers a frank and stimulating look at the sexual bending of a strong woman (``The Wager''), and Carolyn Banks's salt-sprayed tale of sexual initiation (``The Shame Girl'') is fine enough to hold its own outside the genre. Besides the unevenness, Slung's need to explain the meaning of her choices results in irritating pre-story exegeses; then she lets the authors also have a whack at explaining things once their stories end. It's enough to curl your toes. Someone should have told Slung to stop making sense. Read full book review >