Victor LaValle, a renowned author known for his horror and dark fantasy works, has recently released a new novel that takes a fresh approach to the genre. Inspired by his own experiences as a father and husband, LaValle set out to create a story that places women at the forefront, challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes often found in horror fiction.
In an exclusive interview with us, LaValle shared his motivation behind this shift in perspective. “As a man of color, I know what it’s like to feel invisible,” he said. “I wanted to give voice to those who have been historically marginalized, particularly women.” This desire sparked the creation of his latest work, The Changeling.
The Changeling tells the story of Apollo Kagwa, a young father struggling to come to terms with his wife’s sudden disappearance. As he embarks on a journey to find her, he discovers a sinister force lurking beneath the surface of modern-day New York City. Intertwined with folklore and ancient mythologies, the novel presents a unique blend of horror and magical realism.
LaValle’s decision to feature a female protagonist was not only a deliberate choice but also a personal one. He explains, “My wife is my best friend, and I wanted to write something that would resonate with her and other women.” By doing so, he has created a narrative that not only terrifies but also empowers its readers.
One of the most compelling aspects of The Changeling is its exploration of motherhood and the sacrifices that come with it. LaValle notes, “Becoming a parent changes everything. You suddenly realize that your life isn’t just yours anymore.” Through Apollo’s quest, LaValle highlights the strength and resilience of mothers, as well as the societal pressures they face.
When asked about the significance of diversity in writing, LaValle emphasizes the importance of representation. “Growing up, I rarely saw people who looked like me in books or movies. It’s crucial that we change that landscape, especially in genres like horror where diverse voices have traditionally been absent.” His efforts to promote inclusivity extend beyond his writing, as he actively seeks out opportunities to support underrepresented authors through mentorship and advocacy.
LaValle’s determination to bring women’s perspectives into the spotlight has earned him recognition within both the literary and feminist communities. His work serves as a reminder that horror can be more than just a means to evoke fear; it can also serve as a platform for social commentary and progress.
In conclusion, Victor LaValle’s The Changeling offers a refreshing take on the horror genre while showcasing the power of feminine strength. By placing women at the center of the narrative, LaValle has paved the way for further diversification in literature and inspired others to follow suit. As he puts it, “There’s still much work to be done, but I believe that together, we can create a better, more representative world – one story at a time.”