Books

Fireworks

Angela Carter

‘I started to write short pieces when I was living in a room too small to write a novel in.’ So says Angela Carter of this collection, written during a period living in Toyko. These exotic, sensuous stories represent Carter’s first major achievement in the short story form. Lush imaginary forests, a murderous puppet show and an expressionistic vision of Japan: each one instantly conjures an atmosphere, dark and luminous in turn, and from the recognisably daring imagination of one of the great twentieth-century stylists.

Shaking A Leg

Angela Carter

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY RACHEL COOKE

Reading Shaking a Leg is like spending time with the funniest, wisest friend you’ve ever had; a person whose breadth of interest ranges from food to feminism to science fiction, and everything in between; a person with an entirely unpredictable train of thought but whose exuberance, knowledge and insight sweeps you along. Bursting with ideas, culturally astute and sparklingly witty, this comprehensive volume of Angela Carter’s journalism is the most down-to-earth and entertaining companion to latter twentieth-century thought you’ll ever need.

The Curious Room

Angela Carter

The Vintage Collected Edition of Angela Carter's works continues with THE CURIOUS ROOM, which contains her dramatic writings, including several previously unpublished plays and screenplays. THE CURIOUS ROOM includes a radio play about the demented Victorian painter and parricide Richard Dadd; reworkings of Puss in Boots and the Dracula story; a draft for an opera of Virginia Woolf's ORLANDO, as well as the film scripts of THE MAGIC TOYSHOP and THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. Revealing many of the enthusiasms and concerns which ignited Carter's fiction. THE CURIOUS ROOM is full of magnificent and startling new material, charged with the range and power of Carter's imagination and inventiveness.

American Ghosts & Old World Wonders

Angela Carter

Shortly before her death Angela Carter was preparing this volume of short stories, one which does full justice to the glory of her imagination and the range of her talent. It is divided into distinct parts. The first comprises a group of stories inspired by America: Lizzie Borden visits a circus; a John Ford Western is spiced with the story of 'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE' and there is a wonderful Gothic extravaganza set in Hollywood. The second section - OLD WORLD WONDERS - draws on fairy tales (Cinderella), on the story of Mary Magdalene, on the folklore of pantomime, on ALICE IN WONDERLAND, an on medieval legend. These stories represent Angela Carter at her most acrobatic and dazzling: erudite, witty, sexy and enthralling. A book to delight her many, many fans.

Bluebeard

Angela Carter

'Curiosity is the most fleeting of pleasures; the moment is satisfied, it ceases to exist and it always proves very, very expensive.'

Angela Carter's playful and subversive retellings of Charles Perrault's classic fairy tales conjure up a world of resourceful women, black-hearted villains, wily animals and incredible transformations. In these seven stories, bristling with frank, earthy humour and gothic imagination, nothing is as it seems.

This book includes Bluebeard, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, The Sleeping Beauty of the Wood, Cinderella: or, The Glass Slipper, Ricky with the Tuft and The Foolish Wishes.

The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

Angela Carter

Desiderio, an employee of the city under a bizarre reality attack from Doctor Hoffman's mysterious machines, has fallen in love with Albertina, the Doctor's daughter. But Albertina, a beautiful woman made of glass, seems only to appear to him in his dreams. Meeting on his adventures a host of cannibals, centaurs and acrobats, Desiderio must battle against unreality and the warping of time and space to be with her, as the Doctor reduces Desiderio's city to a chaotic state of emergency - one ridden with madness, crime and sexual excess.

A satirical tale of magic and sex, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman is a dazzling quest for truth, love and identity.

Heroes and Villains

Angela Carter

A modern fable, a post-apocalyptic romance, a gothic horror story; Angela Carter's genre-defying fantasia Heroes and Villains includes an introduction by Robert Coover in Penguin Modern Classics.

Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination. Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.

Angela Carter (1940-92) was born in Eastbourne and later evacuated to live with her grandmother in Yorkshire. She read English at Bristol University, and after escaping an early marriage went to live in Japan for a number of years. She wrote nine novels, which blend fantasy, science fiction and gothic, and is often referred to as a writer of magical realism.

If you enjoyed Heroes and Villains, you might like Carter's The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Angela Carter is a genius'
Victoria Glendinning

'An unashamed fantasist, a fabulist of daemonic energy'
The Times

The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

Angela Carter (and others)

In eighteenth century France, Charles Perrault rescued from the oral tradition fairy tales that are known and loved even today by virtually all children in the West. Angela Carter came across Perrault's work and set out to adapt the stories for modern readers of English. In breathing new life into these classic fables, she produced versions that live on as classics in their own right, marked as much by her signature wit, irony, and subversiveness as they are by the qualities that have made them universally appealing for centuries.

Love

Angela Carter (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY AUDREY NIFFENEGGER

Love is Angela Carter's fifth novel and was first published in 1971. With surgical precision it charts the destructive emotional war between a young woman, her husband and his disruptive brother as they move through a labyrinth of betrayal, alienation and lost connections. This revised edition has lost none of Angela Carter's haunting power to evoke the ebb of the 1960s, and includes an afterword which describes the progress of the survivors into the anguish of middle age.

Burning Your Boats

Angela Carter

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY SALMAN RUSHDIE

As well as her eight novels, Angela Carter published four wonderful collections of short stories during her lifetime, and contributed stories to several anthologies. The stories were scattered amongst different publishers, and a couple of the volumes are now out of print. In Burning your Boats they are gathered for the first time; this is a key collection and a major event for Angela Carter aficionados.

Black Venus

Angela Carter

Extraordinary and diverse people inhabit this rich, ripe and raucous collection of stories. Some are based on real people, like Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's sexy, reluctant muse, and Edgar Allen Poe, demonstrating in thought and deed how 'No man is safe who drinks before breakfast’. Some are imaginary: the girl suckled by wolves who will not tolerate returning to humanity. Mingling history, invention, literary criticism, high drama and low comedy, Carter’s stories are as full of contradictions and surprises as life itself.

The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories

Angela Carter (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HELEN SIMPSON

From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

Nights At The Circus

Angela Carter

Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan...or all fake?

Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Dazzled by his love for her, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through turn-of-the-nineteenth-century London, St Petersburg and Siberia.

Expletives Deleted

Angela Carter (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MICHAEL MOORCOCK

Angela Carter was one of the most important and influential writers of our time: a novelist of extraordinary power and a searching critic and essayist.This selection of her writing, which she made herself, covers more than a decade of her thought and ranges over a diversity of subjects giving a true measure of the wide focus of her interests: the brothers Grimm; William Burroughs; food writing, Elizbaeth David; British writing: American writing; sexuality, from Josephine Baker to the history of the corset; and appreciations of the work of Joyce and Christina Stead.

Wise Children

Angela Carter (and others)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALI SMITH

A richly comic tale of the tangled fortunes of two theatrical families, the Hazards and the Chances, Angela Carter's witty and bawdy novel is populated with as many sets of twins, and mistaken identities as any Shakespeare comedy, and celebrates the magic of over a century of show business.

Biography

Angela Carter was born in 1940 of a Scottish father and Yorkshire mother. She read English at Bristol University, and after escaping an early marriage went to live in Japan for a number of years. She wrote nine novels, which blend fantasy, science fiction and gothic, and is often referred to as a writer of magic realism. She died in 1992.