Bury yourself in zombie literature

By Jennifer Stogsdill

Within the past few years, it is obvious that zombies have risen from their graves and stepped into a popular light. With movies about zombies and music about zombies, it’s only right there should be literature about zombies.

Walk into a Barnes and Noble and you will easily find zombie comic books, zombie novels, zombie survival guides and, now, classic literature redone with a gruesome zombie theme.

Even though zombies have been in literature for some time (William Seabrook’s “The Magic Island,” published in 1929, was one of the first zombie-related books.), there has been a huge increase in interest of the genre recently.

Mary Gillgannon, a fantasy and romance author who works at the Laramie County Library, pinpoints this rise in popularity to around the time Max Brooks’ book “World War Z” came out in 2006. Brooks also wrote “The Zombie Survival Guide.”

Gillgannon explained because the subject of zombies has not really been examined, it’s hard to know exactly where the trend started.

Now, zombie books exist in every genre of literature; zombie romance novels, mash-up novels (classic literature mixed with a zombie apocalypse), funny zombie novels, zombie novels with a bigger emphasis on the horrible gruesome details, comics, etc.

Authors are even starting to write zombie novels with deeper literary themes. Books like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and the series “Marvel Zombies” show the popularity of the genre has affected new genres.

“I think a lot of people like to read the zombie literature because it distracts them from the troubles that are going on in the world right now by showing them it could be a lot worse,” Gillgannon explained. “These books are set in a world like our own, only with strange supernatural beings, and most times, the good guy wins.”

Zombie literature is written in a more dystopian style by giving an example of how bad circumstances can get and how the average person would react to it.

“A movie is now being made about ‘World War Z,’ and I think that is when the zombie popularity will peak,” Gillgannon said. “Like most other popular genres, this one will eventually die out, too.”