Visits and Visitations: A Visit (Jackson, 1950), Ghost Summer (Due, 2015), Her Fearful Symmetry (Niffenegger, 2009), Hotel World (Smith, 2001)

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Places and families can tether the living and the dead to unfinished business, damaged histories, inherited loss. This chapter concentrates on the insecurities, the liminality of transient spaces, visits, visitations and the trap of unresolved tragedies and deaths linked to these places which engulf the inhabitants and the newcomers. In Shirley Jackson’s ‘A Visit’, a wealthy family, encircled by their house and lands and by their past, trigger off and replay fatal loss through inviting in new young women to join their trapped circle. In Audrey Niffenegger’s novel, family lies and inheritance invites then entraps twins in a ghostly power game. Ali Smith’s novel and Daisy Johnson’s broadcast, The Hotel, show the danger, liminality and false comforts of grand hotels, these transient temporary homes where the undead and their confused and confusing stories trap the living who might try to understand the circumstances of their deaths, the reasons for their hauntings. African American Tananarive Due’s ghost novel returns children and families on summer holidays to the location of ghosts of slavery, bringing the terrible histories back into view through the lives of individuals and offering peace through acknowledging their stories.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Women's Ghost Stories
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030890544
ISBN (Print)9783030890537
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Gothic
ISSN (Print)2634-6214
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6222

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies


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