WINNER OF THE SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD
NBCC AWARD FINALIST
WINNER OF THE 2017 SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE
Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Financial Times, Spectator and Observer
Angela Carter’s life was as unconventional as anything in her fiction. Through her fearlessly original and inventive books, including The Bloody Chamber and Nights at the Circus, she became an icon to a generation and one of the most acclaimed English writers of the last hundred years. This is her first full and authorised biography.
Edmund Gordon uncovers Carter’s life story – from a young woman trying to write in a tiny bedsit in Tokyo, to one of the most important and daring writers of her day. From a life full of adventure sprang work so fantastic, dazzling and seductive that it permanently changed and reinvigorated British literature. This is the story of how Angela Carter invented herself.
'An exemplary piece of work... Everyone should read it' Spectator
Splendid…this is an exemplary piece of work…which will satisfy readers, and on which further investigation can rest with great confidence that nothing has been concealed and no pathway has been neglected. Everyone should read it.
[A] gripping biography, brimming with new material… He has undertaken feats of scholarship and written an admirably clearsighted book… Gordon’s achievement, however, is tremendous. From baroque entanglements of material and controversy, he brings living contours into view… A quarter century on, this new biography should renew our readerly appetites for Carter.
This fascinating, highly readable biography will be extremely hard to beat.
[It] glints with well-placed detail and witty apercus, and it pays proper attention to what matters most, Angela Carter’s writing… Let’s hope that this thoughtful and engaging biography will introduce a generation of new readers to her work.
[An] astute biography… Edmund Gordon has done an industrious and intelligent job.