THE WIND AT MIDNIGHT Georgia Wood Pangborn; edited, with an introduction by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 1999. 1st edition hardcover.
Prior to her withdrawal from literary life in the 1920s, Georgia Wood Pangborn (1872–1955) was perhaps one of the finest American supernaturalists of her day. Her writing in the genre was compared, during her heyday, with that of Algernon Blackwood, and occurred at a time when Victorian and Edwardian ghost stories were giving way to more psychological terrors. Pangborn's tales avoid predictability, depending instead on subtlety and style, and her work has worn well over the decades, in common with the finest supernatural tales. For a time she was a household name; yet when she ceased writing, her fame quickly evaporated, leaving her work almost completely forgotten today.
In The Wind at Midnight, Jessica Amanda Salmonson has collected together all of Pangborn's significant writings in the field of the supernatural. The stories reverse many of the conventional clichés of the terror tale, with women and children figuring prominently; perhaps, as Salmonson suggests, this was a response to those other ghost stories, so common at the time, in which women seemed not to figure at all. There is also a recurring theme of madness and suicide, of abandonment and despair, which Salmonson argues may be behind the silence and hostility she encountered when trying to obtain information about Pangborn from the author's family.
Jacket art by Deborah McMillion-Nering. Limited to 500 copies. Fine in fine dj.