If You are out There Suzy, Don’t Read This


Recently I had the opportunity to read through some of your letters to Joanna Russ. In doing so, I gained a lot of insight into the influences which led you to write The Vampire Tapestry. That being said, my readings have also raised many questions, and I was hoping you could address some of them.

For instance, there are many occasions in which you display your discontent for the popularized vampire archetype. On March 21, 1978, you write about having seen an awful Dracula television show and later introduce your own vampire novel, almost as if to say, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” In fact, you go on to criticize many other vampire renditions and even Stoker’s own Dracula. On May 29, 1978, you claim that nothing interesting has ever been said in the genre and that you in turn feel as though you are working on a virgin topic.

Surely there must be some vampire stories you enjoy though. Why else would you want to/be so interested in writing one?

The other question I had for you is in relation to Weyland’s interactions with Floria. Throughout the rest of your novel you make Weyland out to be such a solitary individual whose sole objective is to survive. I understand what he has to gain in terms of psychological therapy from her, but why did he leave her be as he fled to New Mexico? It seemed to me that by sleeping with her he was simply fulfilling some curiosity, some scientific pursuit. Once it was over he didn’t have to compromise his safety by letting her live, but he did. Why? Was this simply the tipping-point at which Weyland becomes “soft” and too attached to his prey?

Thanks in advance,


P.S. I really enjoyed the novel!

Box 1 Folder 39, Correspondence with Charnas, Suzy McKee, Joanna Russ Papers, Coll 261, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Or.


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