Thomas Ligotti is often cited as the most curious and remarkable figure in horror literature since H. P. Lovecraft. His work is noted by critics for its display of an exceptionally grotesque imagination and accomplished prose style. In his stories, Ligotti has followed a literary tradition that began with Edgar Allan Poe, portraying characters that are outside of anything that might be called normal life, depicting strange locales far off the beaten track, and rendering a grim vision of human existence as a perpetual nightmare. The horror stories collected in Teatro Grottesco feature tormented individuals who play out their doom in various odd little towns, as well as in dark sectors frequented by sinister and often blackly comical eccentrics. The cycle of narratives introduce readers to a freakish community of artists who encounter demonic perils that ultimately engulf their lives.
Thomas Ligotti's first collection of stories, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, was published in 1986, and he has since established a cult following. He is also the author of several other story collections. Ligotti is the recipient of several awards, including the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker award for his omnibus collection The Nightmare Factory (1996) and short novel My Work Is Not Yet Done.