Born in Baja California in 1981, Mexican-Canadian author Silvia Moreno-Garcia has crafted a string of critically acclaimed books, spanning the gamut from fantasy and horror to noir and historical. With a master’s in science and technology from the University of British Columbia, her writing often interrogates the rich interplay between science, society, and culture.
Moreno-Garcia won the Sunburst Award for her 2013 debut, This Strange Way of Dying, a collection of fantasy science fiction and horror short stories infused with Mexican folklore. Other notable work includes 2015’s triumph of magical realism, Signal to Noise; 2019’s historical and mythological fantasy, Gods of Jade and Shadow; and 2020’s multi-award-winning Mexican Gothic, a harrowing, atmospheric horror set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence.
In a reading list for The Week, Moreno-Garcia offered 6 of her favorite works of horror, suspense, and the supernatural. From Shirley Jackson’s classic tale of psychological terror to a short fiction collection by Mexican master storyteller Amparo Dávila, dive into her recommendations below, and check out the bookshelves of other great writers here.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Reading List
“Possibly the best haunted house novel ever written — starting with one of the best opening lines you’ll ever read. Jackson’s beautiful prose delivers a series of subtle yet chilling encounters with the supernatural. A discontented and lonely woman is invited to participate in a parapsychological experiment at a haunted mansion. Or is the haunting inside her head?” -SMG
The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Dávila
“Only recently translated, Mexican horror writer Amparo Dávila was known for combining the mundane and the macabre in her short fiction, offering stories of a world that seems subtly wrong and disquieting. If you like Jackson, you’ll like Dávila.” -SMG
Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
“In this novel set in western Canada (and arriving here in July), a woman searches for her missing husband and stumbles upon a preacher who looks just like him but doesn’t recognize her. The mystery of his identity becomes more complex as her quest mingles with the folklore of the Rogarou, a werewolf-like creature from Métis stories.” -SMG
A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney
“Several African-American artists, working at different times in the same town, are haunted by a spirit and a certain purple hue that appears in their artwork. A Spectral Hue is as much about art as it is about horror and the unwashable legacy of racism in America.” -SMG
The Cipher by Kathe Koja
“A video-store clerk and his girlfriend discover a small hole that seems to lead to another universe. They begin experimenting with their discovery, sending a camera down to film what’s inside and placing a jar with insects next to it. The insects come back slightly mutated. The footage seems to change with each viewing. A bleak and strange spiral of obsession develops.” -SMG
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
“Fans of Stephen King’s It and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story should find plenty to love in this tale of friends who are haunted by a supernatural entity they first encountered in their youth. But Jones’ novel is no carbon copy and comes with a fresh, energetic perspective. Did I mention the killer elk?” -SMG
(via The Week; photo by Jay L. Clendenin)
Looking for an Amazon alternative? Support local, independent booksellers by shopping Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s reading list – and hundreds of other celebrity book recommendations – through Radical Reads’ Bookshop page.