The 2011 Shirley Jackson Award Nominations for Best Novel

Horror Awards, Popular

This entry is part 1 in the series The 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards

This week we’ll be taking a detailed look at the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award Nominations, starting with the award for best Novel.

The Shirley Jackson Awards website describes the award this way:

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

Best Novel

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The Devil All the Time was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by Donald Ray Pollock

The Devil All the Time

Author: Pollock, Donald Ray
Format: Hardcover
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 272pp.
Pub. Date: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

From the acclaimed author of Knockemstiff — called “powerful, remarkable, exceptional” by the Los Angeles Times — comes a dark and riveting vision of America that delivers literary excitement in the highest degree.

In The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock has written a novel that marries the twisted intensity of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers with the religious and Gothic over­tones of Flannery O’Connor at her most haunting.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s.

There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.

Amazon.com online bookstore July 2011 (Hardcover — Doubleday)
Amazon.com online bookstore July 2012 (Trade Paperback — Anchor)
Amazon.com online bookstore July 2011 (Kindle — Doubleday)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2011 (Hardcover — Doubleday)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2012 (Trade Paperback — Anchor)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2011 (NOOK Book — Doubleday)
The Devil All the Time was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by Reggie Oliver

The Dracula Papers, Book I: The Scholar’s Tale

Author: Oliver, Reggie
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 504pp.
Pub. Date: January 19, 2011
Publisher: Chomu Press

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula told us about Count Dracula as an undead vampire. But how did this come to be? Who was Dracula in real life? There has always been speculation, but The Dracula Papers now offers the ultimate answer.

It takes us back to the year 1576, to the wild land of Transylvania and to the early life of Prince Vladimir who came to be the horror known as Dracula. The result is a story as remarkable and extraordinary as the Bram Stoker classic. Battles, intrigues, sorcery, sexual passion, hauntings, a mechanical tortoise and a burning rhinoceros all have their part to play in a thrilling narrative that nevertheless plunges deep into the mystery of Evil.

With The Dracula Papers Reggie Oliver presents a grand tour of the sixteenth century, and of every variety of occult lore surrounding the vampire myth, that is rollicking, wise, macabre, but always unexpected. The Scholar’s Tale is the first volume of a scholarly and picaresque Gothick Extravaganza.

Amazon.com online bookstore January 2011 (Trade Paperback — Chomu Press)
Amazon.com online bookstore January 2011 (Kindle — Chomu Press)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore January 2011 (Trade Paperback — Chomu Press)
The Great Lover was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by Michael Cisco

The Great Lover

Author: Cisco, Michael
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 346pp.
Pub. Date: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Chomu Press

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

He lives in the sewers . . . and in the black world between stations . . . the trains shrilly call to one another blind and massive in the dark — black rushing silence, rent by screaming trains . . . Like the hideous angler fish of the ocean’s deepest places, he is an otherworldly scavenger drifting in currents heavier than avalanches, slow as glaciers, a sea wasp with a bridal train of tingling nerves that drift in the sewage time and again tangling in women’s dreams.

From Michael Cisco, author of The Divinity Student, comes a visionary novel of eros and thanatos. The Great Lover, the sewerman, is the undead hero who nonetheless carries the torch of libido and life. Mischievous Frankenstein, uproarious cartoon demon, mascot of the subway cult, witch-doctor of feculent enchantment and weary veteran of folies d’amour, he stands, or shambles, as our last champion against the monochrome, white-noise forces of Vampirism.

Amazon.com online bookstore April 2011 (Trade Paperback — Chomu Press)
Amazon.com online bookstore April 2011 (Kindle — Chomu Press)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore April 2011 (Trade Paperback — Chomu Press)
Knock Knock was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by S. P. Miskowski

Knock Knock

Author: Miskowski, S. P.
Cover Art: Russell Dickerson
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 288pp.
Pub. Date: March 14, 2012
Publisher: Omnium Gatherum Media

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

At the center of S.P. Miskowski’s novel-length fairy tale are three restless girls, best friends stuck in the backwater of Skillute, Washington in the late 1960s.

Their neighbors and families are petty or poor or both.

They warn the girls not to wander into Skillute’s dense forest; something evil lurks there, people say.

The girls are not convinced. During a playful oath, they wander too far into the woods. Their mistake unleashes a malignant spirit that terrorizes Skillute for the next fifty years.

Amazon.com online bookstore March 2011 (Trade Paperback — Omnium Gatherum Media)
Amazon.com online bookstore March 2011 (Kindle — Omnium Gatherum Media)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore March 2011 (Trade Paperback — Omnium Gatherum Media)
The Last Werewolf was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf

Author: Duncan, Glen
Format: Hardcover
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 304pp.
Pub. Date: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

Then she opened her mouth to scream — and recognised me. It was what I’d been waiting for. She froze. She looked into my eyes. She said, “It’s you.”

Meet Jake.

A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you’d never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you — and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.

Jake’s depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide — even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.

Here is a powerful, definitive new version of the werewolf legend — mesmerising and incredibly sexy. In Jake, Glen Duncan has given us a werewolf for the twenty-first century — a man whose deeds can only be described as monstrous but who is in some magical way deeply human.

One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years.

Amazon.com online bookstore July 2011 (Hardcover — Knopf)
Amazon.com online bookstore April 2012 (Trade Paperback — Vintage)
Amazon.com online bookstore July 2011 (Kindle — Vintage)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2011 (Hardcover — Knopf)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore April 2012 (Trade Paperback — Vintage)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore July 2011 (NOOK Book — Vintage)
Witches on the Road Tonight was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel and was written by Sheri Holman

Witches on the Road Tonight

Author: Holman, Sheri
Format: Hardcover
Type: Horror Novel
Page Count: 400pp.
Pub. Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

By the best-selling author of The Dress Lodger, Sheri Holman’s new and most ambitious novel to date, Witches on the Road Tonight, uncovers the secrets and lies that echo through three generations of one Appalachian family. It is a deeply human, urgent exploration of America’s doomed love affair with fear.

On the eve of World War II, eight-year-old Eddie Alley lies in bed watching his first horror movie, hand-cranked and flickering on the bare wall of a backwoods cabin. In 2011, Eddie’s daughter, Wallis, an anchorwoman for a twenty-four-hour news channel, lies in bed with a stranger, spinning ghost stories.

Between these two nights, winds the story of the Alley family — Eddie’s mother, Cora, an Appalachian mountain witch who slips out of her skin after nightfall; Captain Casket, Eddie’s alter ego, a campy 1970s TV horror-movie host; and Jasper, the orphaned boy Eddie brings home, who is determined to destroy Eddie’s illusions even if it means destroying himself.

Deftly moving from the rural, Depression-era South to modern New York City, Holman teases out the dark compulsions and desperate longings that can blur the line between love and betrayal. Witches on the Road Tonight is an unflinching story that digs at the roots of myth — both familial and societal — and beautifully renders our perpetual yearning to make sense of the past in our present.

Amazon.com online bookstore March 2011 (Hardcover — Atlantic Monthly Press)
Amazon.com online bookstore January 2012 (Trade Paperback — Grove Press)
Amazon.com online bookstore March 2011 (Kindle — Atlantic Monthly Press)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore March 2011 (Hardcover — Atlantic Monthly Press)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore January 2012 (Trade Paperback — Grove Press)
Barnes and Noble online bookstore March 2011 (NOOK Book — Atlantic Monthly Press)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Howard Sherman Apr 23, 2012

    It might be a coincidence but with so many Shirley Jackson aware nominees set in America’s past, I locked on The Last Werewolf after skimming the rest.

    That’s not to say the other novels aren’t noteworthy; they very probably are. I’m just not primed for a travel back in time to 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Americana at the moment. Maybe it’s because I finished 11/22/63 last month and had my fill of retro fiction — no matter how good it is.

    Back to The Last Werewolf — I like the premise of an immortal beast who’s ready to kick his own bucket because he’s had enough. It’s an intriguing new twist on a timeless tale.