Talking Scared

34 - Danielle Trussoni and the Spectrum of Human Difference

April 14, 2021 Neil McRobert Episode 34
Talking Scared
34 - Danielle Trussoni and the Spectrum of Human Difference
Show Notes

When was the last time a story took you completely by surprise? Danielle Trussoni’s The Ancestor ambushed me into loving it. What seems a standard Gothic fiction turns into something wholly weirder … and wilder … as a young American woman inherits a creaky European castle, and the monstrous baggage that comes with it.

Dani came on the show – somehow finding time between writing her new novel and being the New York Times’ horror columnist – to talk about The Ancestor’s paperback release. We tiptoe around the book’s many, many secrets, and somehow find ourselves all the way to a discussion about Bigfoot. It’s that kind of chat.

We also discuss how her own roots and heritage inspired the novel, why there are so many double standards about women authors and horror, how she fits existing myth and lore into her stories so well … and I regale her with one of my favourite pieces of British legend. She’s kind enough to pretend that she doesn’t obviously know more about horror than me – and she also exposes me as someone who mentions that I have a degree a little too much.

It’s interesting, enlightening, and more than a little bit shocking. 


The Ancestor is out in paperback from Custom House on April 13th.

Other books we discussed include:

  • Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016), by Colin Dickey
  • The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters and our Obsession with the Unexplained (2020), by Colin Dickey
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011), by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Flowers in the Attic (1979), by V.C. Andrews
  • The Historian (2005), by Elizabeth Kostova

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