The publication of Leslie S. Klinger’s illuminating annotations of Lovecraft’s stories created a sensation around H. P. Lovecraft, “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale” (Stephen King). That momentous collection—vaunted as a “treasure trove” (Joyce Carol Oates) and an “Olympian landmark of modern gothic literature” (Harlan Ellison)—featured stories set in the dark, fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts, but naturally left readers craving for more. Here, in The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft: Beyond Arkham, Klinger has collected, contextualized, and enhanced twenty-five more canonical stories, comprising the balance of Lovecraft’s significant fiction.
In Beyond Arkham, Klinger reanimates Lovecraft (1890–1937) with his trademark clarity and historical insight, charting the unlikely rise of the erstwhile pulp writer and his twenty-first-century rediscovery and reclamation into the literary canon. A vital introduction by Victor Lavalle, the award-winning author of The Ballad of Black Tom, provides a moving and honest examination of Lovecraft’s disturbing racism and xenophobia—providing guidance for how fans may appreciate his art in the twenty-first century, while simultaneously holding the artist accountable for his sins.
One of the first progenitors of American “weird fiction,” Lovecraft was the master of producing abject horror and psychic dread—not through tired clichés of ghosts, ghouls, and witches but through the terrifying suggestion of the unknown and the unspeakable. Included in this volume are such classic Lovecraftian masterpieces as “The Rats in the Walls,” a story about the terrors of the past, and “The Outsider,” Lovecraft’s most psychologically complex piece. Readers will also encounter “The Horror at Red Hook,” a highly controversial tale set in the immigrant ghettoes of New York, and “The Music of Erich Zann,” one of Lovecraft’s two personal favorites. Also included are several short pieces from his early stages of writing, as his style evolved from Poe-esque to Dunsanian to his own distinct voice, and even Lovecraft’s first effort at a novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, unpublished during his lifetime.
Including over 200 rare illustrations, hundreds of annotations, and the first-ever complete gazetteer of the places mentioned in Lovecraft’s entire body of fiction, Beyond Arkham completes the picture of Lovecraft’s unparalleled achievements in fiction and confirms his entry into the pantheon of American literature.