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Sarah Waters is a Welsh novelist, perhaps best known for her debut novel, Tipping the Velvet (1998), which was adapted into a BBC mini series in 2002. It is set in Victorian England during the 1890s and tells the coming-of-age story of a young oyster girl who falls in love with a male impersonator and follows her to the music halls of London, where she goes through a journey of self-discovery.
Sarah’s latest novel, The Little Stranger, set in the 1940s in a dilapidated Warwickshire mansion, is a modern ghost story fuelled by war trauma, grief and class tensions.
As a life-long fan of tales of horror and the supernatural, Sarah talks to us in this episode of Litro Lab about her favourite classic ghost story, “The Monkey’s Paw” (1902) by W. W. Jacobs. She also tells us about her childhood obsession with the Pan Book of Horror Stories, writing The Little Stranger, haunted houses, and the lasting appeal of ghosts. Please listen, first to our chat with Sarah, then a reading of “The Monkey’s Paw” by the actor Greg Page—whose voice you’ll recognise from previous episodes of Litro Lab—using the player below.
The first man had his three wishes, yes… I don’t know what the first two were, but the third was for death. —“The Monkey’s Paw”