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The Monster She Wrote Podcast

Jul 27, 2021

Justina Ireland’s book DREAD NATION has been called “Gone With the Wind with Zombies,” a description that we think does Ireland’s work a great disservice. It is a book about zombies, but it is so much more than that. We thought we’d let Justina Ireland herself describe the book and its sequel, Deathless Divide. The following quote is the author describing her inspiration, found in an interview that can be found online at Ireland says: “The original idea for Dread Nation and Deathless Divide came about in response to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I was reading that book and thinking: How could women who didn’t even dress themselves suddenly become zombie fighting machines?  If anything, I thought, they would’ve had ladies’ maids to do the zombie-killing for them.  And as I considered what that would look like in the United States, the first draft of Dread Nation was born.  It featured Negro girls who went to special combat schools to better themselves, similar to the Indian boarding schools of the late nineteenth century.  Soon, I had a book about zombies and pretty girls fighting the dead in fancy dresses with lovely blades.  Cute boys showed up to complicate things and voila! It seemed like a great young adult novel. One part intrigue, one part survival, a dash of romance, shake until blended and serve chilled.”

Recommend in this episode: Grady Hendrix's The Final Girl Support Group, Timothy Zahn’s original Star Wars Thrawn series (early 90s) Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising, and Netflix's Sweet Tooth

Next Episode: "Especially Heinous" by Carmen Maria Machado

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Our social media is @MonsterWrote on Twitter and Instagram. Our email is This episode was produced and researched by Lisa and Mel. Theme music is “Misconception” by Nicolas Gasparini, used with permission.