The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979)
Much to Angela Carter’s own chagrin, The Bloody Chamber is sometimes described as Carter’s collection of updated, adult fairy tales. In fact, it’s a much darker, more subversive cycle of stories that stray far and wide from their original sources. From the French Marquis, who keeps the mutilated corpses of his ex-wives in a locked room, to the sexually curious and confident Little Red Riding Hood, each tale explores the concealed desires at work beneath the stories we tell each other – yes, with vampires, werewolves, countesses and crooks thrown into the mix.
Relishing in the magical interplay of violence, desire, dominance and fantasy, The Bloody Chamber is Angela Carter at her most alchemic, and the perfect primer for those peering over the precipice of her towering, twisted imagination.