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Pretty Things

Peter Campbell, 21 February 1980

by Kit Williams.
Cape, 32 pp., £3.50, September 1980, 0 224 01617 2
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Beauty and the Beast 
by Rosemary Harris and Errol Le Cain.
Faber, 32 pp., £3.50, October 1980, 0 571 11374 5
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Mazel and Shlimazel 
by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Margot Zemach.
Cape, 42 pp., £3.95, November 1980, 0 224 01758 6
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La Corona 
by Russell Hoban and Nicola Bayley.
Cape, 32 pp., £3.50, September 1980, 0 224 01397 1
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by Anthony Taber.
Gollancz, 80 pp., £4.50, September 1980, 0 575 02664 2
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Comic and Curious Cats 
by Angela Carter and Martin Leman.
Gollancz, 32 pp., £3.50, April 1980, 0 575 02592 1
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The Wild Washerwomen 
by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake.
Hamish Hamilton, 32 pp., £3.75, October 1980, 0 241 89928 1
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... Her name is Emilia, she lives in Edgware and eats everything Earnestly.’ The words are by Angela Carter. It is a cute joke, a book to go with the pretty china on the dresser. So one is almost too grateful to turn to John Yeoman’s and Quentin Blake’s The Wild Washerwomen, and should say at once that the drawings show no astounding virtuosity ...

In an English market

Tom Paulin, 3 March 1983

Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings 
by Angela Carter.
Virago, 181 pp., £3.50, October 1982, 0 86068 269 2
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... envelope that absorbs the world. In The Passion of New Eve, a fantasy of late-Seventies America, Angela Carter’s androgynous protagonist describes a room like this: Soft clouds of dust rose from the yellowed pelts of polar bears flung on the floor and their mummified heads roared mutely at us in balked fury. The walls of this long, low, serpentine ...

Pick the small ones

Marina Warner: Girls Are Rubbish, 17 February 2005

Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet: Women in Proverbs from around the World 
by Mineke Schipper.
Yale, 422 pp., £35, April 2004, 0 300 10249 6
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... Greer of The Female Eunuch confronted misogyny with the reflection of its own face in the mirror; Angela Carter practised the selective lighting, nonchalant hyperbole and parodic enhancement developed by fabulists such as Margaret Cavendish in The Blazing World, or, if you prefer, by Swift and Voltaire. In some of her most pointed exposés, ...

Viva Biba

Janet Watts, 8 December 1988

Very Heaven: Looking back at the 1960s 
edited by Sara Maitland.
Virago, 227 pp., £4.95, October 1988, 0 86068 958 1
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... the Sixties (she was ten at their start). Yet she endorses with gusto the boast of her contributor Angela Carter that towards the end of the decade ‘there was a brief period of public philosophical awareness that occurs only very occasionally in human history ... when all that was holy was in the process of being profaned, and we were attempting to ...


Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend, 9 May 2013

... tunnels, leaving me unsure on which side of the Thames we now found ourselves, I thought about Angela Carter. And the opening of her 1991 novel Wise Children: ‘Two cities divided by a river.’ Where Thatcher was an absence, and more than an absence, a negation, an assault on the notion of organic society, ...


Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1 April 1983

A Treatise on Social Theory. Vol. I: The Methodology of Social Theory 
by W.G. Runciman.
Cambridge, 350 pp., £25, March 1983, 0 521 24906 6
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... commends Henry James, discusses some ‘splendid stuff’ from Tom Wolfe and starts a chapter with Angela Carter on rooms by the hour in Japan. If this is social science, it is in style and scope not social science as we have come to know it. As we have come to know it, this science has, in its more principled moments, consisted either in attempts to show ...

Last in the Funhouse

Patrick Parrinder, 17 April 1986

Gerald’s Party 
by Robert Coover.
Heinemann, 316 pp., £10.95, April 1986, 0 434 14290 5
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by Edmund White.
Picador, 342 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 330 29291 9
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Lake Wobegon Days 
by Garrison Keillor.
Faber, 337 pp., £9.95, February 1986, 0 571 13846 2
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In Country 
by Bobbie Ann Mason.
Chatto, 245 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 7011 3034 2
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... The British edition of Gerald’s Party, Coover’s latest novel, comes larded with tributes from Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury, both of whom insist on its canonical status. Coover is ‘a master’, says Carter, and according to Bradbury he is ‘one of the great innovative writers of the United States’. At ...

Sleepwalker on a Windowledge

Adam Mars-Jones: Carmen Maria Machado, 7 March 2019

Her Body & Other Parties 
by Carmen Maria Machado.
Serpent’s Tail, 245 pp., £8.99, January 2019, 978 1 78125 953 5
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... taken for granted. ‘The Husband Stitch’, the first story and one of the most striking, treats Angela Carter in a similar way, using her work as a table on which to display new plates. Carter’s subversions of the canon (above all the fairy stories shapeshifted in The Bloody Chamber) have themselves become ...

In Bexhill

Peter Campbell: Unpopular Culture, 5 June 2008

... Weight set odd encounters that could have come from stories by Pritchett or Coppard – or even Angela Carter. The exhibition gets its focus from being built round Perry’s experience of art. His fondness for things as they were when he first came into contact with them feeds back into his own work. He appears on the cover of the catalogue in a ...

The Grey Boneyard of Fifties England

Iain Sinclair, 22 August 1996

A Perfect Execution 
by Tim Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... at the finish. Shape gives his books the narrative nonchalance that distinguishes the work of Angela Carter, all those gins and powders and game old boilers. Fabulous bawdy. But there is none of Carter’s subversion, the dangerous sense that the narrative, if you don’t keep your wits about you, will carry you ...

The Buffalo in the Hall

Susannah Clapp: Beryl Bainbridge, 5 January 2017

Beryl Bainbridge: Love by All Sorts of Means, a Biography 
by Brendan King.
Bloomsbury, 564 pp., £25, September 2016, 978 1 4729 0853 7
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... Heavenly Creatures. It is one of the few things Bainbridge had in common with her contemporary Angela Carter, who in the 1980s wrote a screenplay about the murder. An early version of Bainbridge’s novel was turned down by several publishers, mainly because the heroines were such ‘repulsive little creatures’. It looks explosive in a different way ...

Daddy’s Girl

Anita Brookner, 22 December 1983

Fathers: Reflections by Daughters 
edited by Ursula Owen.
Virago, 224 pp., £5.50, November 1983, 9780860683940
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... in history, allowing them a proper dignity, yet ensuring that they remain physically anonymous. Angela Carter comes nearest of all to easy affection and one accepts her independent and eccentric father, to whom she refers as ‘the old man’, as recognisable, possibly because she has written about him so well before or possibly because he might have ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: ‘Hollywood Costume’, 20 December 2012

... of noir, vampires, Hitchcock and spaghetti westerns, has never lost that boyish enthusiasm that Angela Carter catches in ‘The Lady in the House of Love’: they knew each other in Bristol, and she drew on the young Frayling, he recently revealed, for the character of the English public schoolboy who, on a bicycle tour of Transylvania, meets the ...

No-Shit Dinosaur

Jon Day: Karen Russell, 2 June 2011

by Karen Russell.
Chatto, 316 pp., £12.99, March 2011, 978 0 7011 8602 9
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... about the transition from innocence to experience. There are Márquez-like dynastic intrigues, and Angela Carter-esque tropes of pantomime and performance. Another influence is Carl Hiaasen, the de facto laureate of the Everglades. Hiaasen has kind words for Swamplandia!, which is reminiscent of Native Tongue, his hard-boiled eco-thriller set in the ...

All Reputation

Hermione Lee: Eliza and Clara, 17 October 2002

The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch 
by Anne Enright.
Cape, 230 pp., £12.99, September 2002, 0 224 06269 7
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by Janice Galloway.
Cape, 425 pp., £10.99, June 2002, 0 224 05049 4
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... reputations grow more impossible, and fragile, and large.’ Enright was once taught writing by Angela Carter at the University of East Anglia, and there’s something of Carter’s sensual, self-fashioning adventuresses in Eliza. The novel keeps edging towards the magical realism which ...

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