Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger

(2849 words)
  • Claire O'Callaghan (The University of Leicester)

Sarah Waters’s fifth novel, The Little Stranger (2009), is a Gothic tale of haunting and demise of the gentry in post-war Britain. Published by Virago Press, the novel received widespread critical acclaim and gave the author her third nomination for the prestigious Man Booker Award. Hilary Mantel, who won the Man Booker in the year of The Little Stranger’s nomination, describes Waters’s novel as “gripping” because it combines “spookiness with sharp social observation” (“Haunted by Shame” 6). Similarly, Erica Wagner writing in The Times describes the novel as “an effective, gripping book” (“Terror At Every Turn” 11).

Set in 1947, T…

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O'Callaghan, Claire. "The Little Stranger". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2010
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]