NIGHT BITES by Victoria A. Brownworth


Vampire Stories by Women
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 Sixteen original queer, bi-, and hetero tales of blood and lust: the first vampiric sheaf ever solely by women, with a feminine and feminist view of the genre. Most contributors are unknowns, many quite literary and taking their first night bite. Introducing the collection, Brownworth and her unlisted helper/coeditor, Judith M. Redding, give a rubber-fanged, seven- page survey of vamp-fi that offers nothing new, nor anything personal. Brownworth's own story, ``Twelfth Night,'' has a terrific idea, that of a female vampire journalist who never murders but instead feeds nightly on deserving murderers in the world's bloodiest hot spots--Rwanda, Bosnia, Haiti, and so on. Brownworth, however, mutes everything with endless exposition and local color about New Orleans and with a wispy climax. Redding's ``Unexpurgated Notes from a Homicide Case File'' is all story and tells (in police file notes) of a rash of teenage deaths in Philadelphia and of some vampires who apparently need geraniums to purify themselves after taking blood from victims of crack or AIDS. In Meredith Suzanne Baird's ``They Have No Faces,'' Lydia hopes that a trip to Romania will cure her husband's alcoholism and make him the man he used to be. It doesn't. Meanwhile, the most strikingly imaginative tale here, ``Anita, Polish Vampire, Holds Forth at the Jewish Cafe of the Dead,'' features Judith Katz's truly amusing lesbian bloodsuckers, who sit gorging on fresh hearts in a dusty cafe filled with vampires that were murdered in a pre-Holocaust pogrom. Mystery writer Nikki Baker offers the volume's tightest, liveliest story, about an Afro-American, former-lesbian Chicago homicide detective who finds strange likenesses in three murders: The victims have lost half their blood, but despite their slashed throats, there's little of it in evidence--and all have terminal AIDS, though they sure didn't have it a week ago. Strong and satisfying, even when coasting.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1996
ISBN: 1-878067-71-0
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Seal Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1995


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