Apocalypse . . . Eventually: Trans-Corporeality and Slow Horror in M. R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts





environment, horror, trans-corporeality, apocalypse, zombie, The Girl with All the Gifts


This article examines M. R. Carey’s 2014 zombie apocalypse novel The Girl with All the Gifts through the ecofeminist concept of trans-corporeality as defined by Stacy Alaimo in Bodily Natures. Carey’s heroine Melanie showcases how humans can re-conceptualize their relationship to a more-than-human, or natural, world that is both exterior to the self and always-already a part of the self through fungal agency. Indeed, the novel continuously engages in intimate human-environment interconnections that, in their horrific capacities, are meant to inspire readers to reflect upon their own enmeshment in a larger, material world. The novel’s use of the real fungus Ophiocordyceps as the more-than-human agent that inspires the transformation of humans into zombies provides a vision for how humans can more ethically relate, in posthuman manners, to a more-than-human world. Finally, this article considers the novel as a depiction of slow horror, or a gradual descent into apocalypse.


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Author Biography

Courtney A. Druzak, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

Courtney A. Druzak is Assistant Professor of English at DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA, where she teaches writing and literature. Although primarily a scholar of early modern literature, her love of contemporary horror, science fiction, and fantasy also lends itself to ecofeminist explorations.


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How to Cite

Druzak, C. A. (2022). Apocalypse . . . Eventually: Trans-Corporeality and Slow Horror in M. R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (12), 304–318. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.12.18