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Palgrave Macmillan

Girls in Contemporary Vampire Fiction

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Examines the narratives of girlhood in contemporary vampire texts addressed to young female fans
  • Offers a dynamic critical intervention in the fields of Young Adult fiction, Gothic and girlhood studies
  • Engages in larger cultural conversations on young femininity, illuminating the complexities and tensions surrounding contemporary notions of girlhood

Part of the book series: Palgrave Gothic (PAGO)

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


About this book

This book explores the narratives of girlhood in contemporary YA vampire fiction, bringing into the spotlight the genre’s radical, ambivalent, and contradictory visions of young femininity. Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska considers less-explored popular vampire series for girls, particularly those by P.C. and Kristin Cast and Richelle Mead, tracing the ways in which they engage in larger cultural conversations on girlhood in the Western world. Mapping the interactions between girl and vampire corporealities, delving into the unconventional tales of vampire romance and girl sexual expressions, examining the narratives of women and violence, and venturing into the uncanny vampire classroom to unmask its critique of present-day schooling, the volume offers a new perspective on the vampire genre and an engaging insight into the complexities of growing up a girl.


“The sheer volume of research cited is astounding; the reference sections following each chapter are often over half a dozen pages and the sources cover a wide variety of areas of study and commentary … . Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska’s book succeeds admirably in accomplishing what it has set it out to do, which is to close read the selected texts.” (Rhonda Brock-Servais, Journal of Vampire Studies, Vol. 3, 2023)

“In this monograph, Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska recounts the rise of YA vampire fiction, paying particular attention to the female readership … . Girls in Contemporary Vampire Fiction is meticulously researched, showing a considerable acquaintance with relevant secondary material … . It performs close readings of the chosen texts, where other books of this kind are often more perfunctory. … Girls in Contemporary Vampire Fiction is an excellent addition to the growing criticism on YA Gothic literature.” (Bill Hughes, The International Journal of Young Adult Literature,, Vol. 3 (1), November 2, 2022)

“Meticulously researched and logically organizer, Girls in Contemporary Vampire Fiction by Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska (2021) is a comprehensive tool for any researcher who wished to delve deeper into the young adult paranormal narratives which have gained tremendous popularity in recent decades. ... this volume brings valuable and topical research in several fields of study … .” (Anda Dimitriu, Gender Studies, Vol. 20 (1), 2021)

“Richly detailed and thoroughly researched, Girls in Contemporary Vampire Fiction is a timely and dynamic critical intervention in the expanding field of Young Adult fiction. If, following Nina Auerbach, each age requires its own vampires, then each age also requires its own vampire criticism. This book fulfils the requirement through its exploration of the figure of the contemporary Western girl and the complexities of youth.” (Catherine Wynne, University of Hull, UK)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

    Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska

About the author

Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska is Researcher and Lecturer at Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. Her academic interests comprise girlhood, YA culture, gender representations, vampire fiction, and the fantastic. Her recent publications include “Female agency and desire in the universes of Sookie Stackhouse” Continuum 33.2 (2019) and Hospitality, Rape and Consent in Vampire Popular Culture (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), co-edited with Stephanie Green and David Baker.

Bibliographic Information

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