“The best horror writer of the 20th century you’ve probably never heard of was a British woman who looked like a benign but mildly dotty Hogwarts teacher. But do not miss the occult mischief behind those 1980s mom-glasses; in a fairly standard Angela Carter story, Harry Potter would be mauled to death by a werewolf before a pan-species initiation of Hermione’s pubescent sexual power. She made things weird like that, which is why she was great.”

Hemlock Grove author Brian McGreevy delivers a tribute to feminist horror writer Angela Carter over on Vulture.

More book news here.

“She’s one I think about the most, really. After all, I, along with thousands of other bookish females with a tendency towards blue, have worshipped her every word since finding The Bell Jar in the school library at fifteen. Sylvia! we cry. Oh, there have been armies of us, knobby-elbowed girls poring over her tangled prose while aching away on our twin beds.”

Katie Crouch writes about suicide and Sylvia Plath over on Buzzfeed. (The essay was originally published in the journal ZYZZYVA.)

Earlier this week, Fresh Air spoke to the author of Tomlinson Hill, in which a journalist and great-great-grandson of Texas slaveholders connects with the descendants of his family’s slaves. Listening to that interview got us thinking about other books in which family stories and America’s history with race intersect. Here’s what we came up with:

Anything else come to mind? 

- Intern Cara 

Today’s top book news item:

The 13-book longlist for the Man Booker Prize, the U.K.’s most prominent literary award, was announced Wednesday. The prize is traditionally open to writers from countries in the Commonwealth and Ireland, but this year marks the first time the award will “recognise, celebrate and embrace authors of literary fiction writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai.”

Opening the longlist to Americans sparked fears that Commonwealth authors would have a harder time making it onto the list, and indeed the list includes only one Commonwealth author — Richard Flanagan of Australia — and no authors from Africa or India. The winner will be announced in October. Here’s the full list:

  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (U.S.)
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Australia)
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (U.S.)
  • The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt (U.S.)      
  • J by  Howard Jacobson (U.K.)
  • The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (U.K.)
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (U.K.)
  • The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee (U.K.)
  • Us by David Nicholls (U.K.)
  • The Dog by Joseph O’Neill (U.S.)
  • Orfeo by Richard Powers (U.S.)
  • How to be Both by  Ali Smith (U.K.)
  • History of the Rain by Niall Williams (Ireland)

The Litographs Tattoos Kickstarter campaign has taken a novel (GET IT?) approach to encouraging contributions: The first 2,500 backers will also reserve their place in the world’s longest (temporary) tattoo chain.

Litographs has broken up Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland into 2,500 temporary tats. Once they hit their goal, they’ll send the ink out for backers to apply, photograph and upload to their website. “Our goal,” they say, “is to recreate this iconic novel by showcasing every single word on the skin of 2,500 Kickstarter backers.” Which, OK, sounds a little gross — but I’m intrigued!

-Nicole