On the heels of Tor.com’s blog post stating that the horror genre doesn’t claim Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, I feel like it’s necessary to set the record straight. As much as I would personally like to claim it for the horror genre, some people might consider that appropriation, given its topic and the context in which it was written– and certainly, horror isn’t the only genre represented(it has also been described as magic realist, historical fiction, and African-American fiction, and Morrison has said she prefers to be identified as simply an American writer). But as a widely read person and a reviewer of horror fiction, I personally, and as a representative of Monster Librarian, will argue that it most certainly should be included (I have always considered it to be part of the genre) as it spotlights one of the most innovative and powerful depictions of horror and the Gothic by women, in recent literature.
In the way that it taps into the feelings we attach to American history, Beloved is a unique book that I am not sure any other can quite measure up to. I won’t argue that it doesn’t also have a relationship to other literary genres and styles. But there is room in the horror genre for things we haven’t yet even imagined, and there is certainly an honored place for Beloved.