Semester of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Untitled Alice and Other Dead Girls is a collection of short stories centering women protagonists. Utilizing elements of the Gothic and popular movies, each standalone story explores horrors that are produced by societal pressures on female and othered bodies.
A former journalist, Lauder is interested in what she calls “the fallacy of objectivity” – that writers and reporters are able to completely remove their own experiences and biases from their pieces. Many of the stories in Untitled Alice are inspired by or contain details of real-world crimes or events. Instead of focusing on perpetrators, she turns the lens on “the bodies” – the people these events happen to, often women, queer people, and others marginalized outside mainstream power structures. Names and naming play important roles in every story, reflecting back on both the true crime and horror fields, where killers are frequently centered and well-known, and their survivors and victims are reduced to numbers, Doe’s, and dead girls.
Influenced by the writing of Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, and Raymond Chandler, and a steady consumption of horror movies from a tender age, Lauder’s stories play with genre conventions, the supernatural, and worlds that are like real life, but just slightly askew. Women produce tacks and pins from inside their bodies, teenage girls retreat into a collective mind as they find themselves under attack, and spinsters wrestle with jealousy over the devil abducting a friend.
Lauder, Christie Marie, "Untitled Alice and Other Dead Girls: Short Stories" (2021). LSU Master's Theses. 5360.
Available for download on Wednesday, May 24, 2028