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5 December 1985
Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity 
by Elizabeth Wilson.
Virago, 272 pp., £11.95, November 1985, 0 86068 552 7
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... The serious study of fashion​ has repeatedly had to justify itself,’ observes Elizabeth Wilson in the introduction to Adorned in Dreams, a study of fashion which, in itself, may help to render such justifications redundant; her book is the best I have read on the subject, bar none. Fashion is part of social practice: it is an industry whose demands have helped to shape modern history, and choosing ...
6 March 1980
... In a Sight and Sound interview with Richard Roud Bertolucci says he first had the idea for his film La Luna during a session with his psychoanalyst. ‘I suddenly realised that I had been talking about my father for seven or eight years – and now I wanted to talk about my mother.’ It seems to have taken them an unconscionable time to get around to discussing the person Freud calls a child’s ‘first ...
8 November 1990
The Virago Book of Fairy-Tales 
edited by Angela Carter.
Virago, 242 pp., £12.99, October 1990, 1 85381 205 6
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Sisters and Strangers: A Moral Tale 
by Emma Tennant.
Grafton, 184 pp., £12.95, July 1990, 0 246 13429 1
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... any more,’ says the Russian story-teller at the end of the day: ‘it’s nothing but a fairy-tale’ means it’s a pipedream. But the message of the Tongue Meat fable is borne out by the volume AngelaCarter has edited: the jokes and exempla and folk-tales here will be meat and drink to women (and maybe to other people too). She writes in her introduction that ‘this is a collection of old wives ...
5 August 1982
Memoirs of a Midget 
by Walter de la Mare.
Oxford, 392 pp., £3.50, May 1982, 0 19 281344 7
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... the riddles of sado-masochism, the dark underside of his ‘magic’. So also was Stevenson – a predecessor in his ‘sedulous ape’ period; so too, later, is the bookish cross-bred Borges. Miss AngelaCarter, whose preface speculates here on his famous novel Memoirs of a Midget, glances at Borges and goes on to the possibility that de la Mare may be the only English Surrealist, but one with a ...
5 December 1985
Black Venus 
by Angela Carter.
Chatto, 121 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7011 3964 1
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Come unto these yellow sands 
by Angela Carter.
Bloodaxe, 158 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 906427 66 5
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Mainland 
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
Hamish Hamilton, 285 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 241 11643 0
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The Accidental Tourist 
by Anne Tyler.
Chatto, 355 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2986 7
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Arrows of Longing 
by Virginia Moriconi.
Duckworth, 252 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 9780715620694
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... AngelaCarter’s Black Venus is Baudelaire’s Creole mistress Jeanne Duval, whose hair the poet once likened to a sea of ebony, among other things; his enchantment and her disenchantment figure in the story, the ...

Diary

Anne Enright: Lessons from Angela Carter

17 February 2011
... I met AngelaCarter in the spring of 1987 when I was a student and she a tutor on the MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. My work had over the course of the previous winter gone from bad to worse. I ...

Diary

Susannah Clapp: On Angela Carter

12 March 1992
... Last month Birnam Wood came to Putney Vale Crematorium. Or so it seemed. As the attenders at AngelaCarter’s funeral emerged from the chapel, surrounding trees began to rearrange themselves. They shifted and they sprouted feet. They marched – and they dispelled themselves. They shook themselves free ...
22 July 1993
The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales 
edited by Alison Luire.
Oxford, 455 pp., £17.95, May 1993, 0 19 214218 6
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The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales 
edited by Angela Carter.
Virago, 230 pp., £7.99, July 1993, 1 85381 616 7
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... poetical fairy tale, even a wry modern one like Thurber’s ‘The Unicorn in the Garden’, is apt to be soft and sticky. The best are startling and mysterious but also commonplace. Before she died AngelaCarter made a few notes for what was to be the introduction to her second collection of traditional tales. ‘The unperplexedness of the story. Fairy tales – cunning and high spirits.’ That comes ...

Walking backward

Robert Taubman

21 August 1980
Selected Works of Djuna Barnes 
Faber, 366 pp., £5.50, July 1980, 0 571 11579 9Show More
Black Venus’s Tale 
by Angela Carter.
Next Editions/Faber, 35 pp., £1.95, June 1980, 9780907147022
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The Last Peacock 
by Allan Massie.
Bodley Head, 185 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 370 30261 3
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The Birds of the Air 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 152 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 7156 1491 6
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... Wandering people the world over found her profitable in that she could be sold for a price forever, for she carried her betrayal money in her own pocket.’ This, from Nightwood, comes close to AngelaCarter in Black Venus’s Tale: ‘Seller and commodity in one, a whore is her own investment in the world ... but Jeanne never had this temperament of the tradesperson, she did not feel she was her ...

Hairy Fairies

Rosemary Hill: Angela Carter

10 May 2012
A Card from Angela​ Carter 
by Susannah Clapp.
Bloomsbury, 106 pp., £10, February 2012, 978 1 4088 2690 4
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... AngelaCarter didn’t enjoy much of what she called ‘the pleasantest but most evanescent kind of fame, which is that during your own lifetime’. She was known and admired, but on nothing like the scale that ...

Bewitchment

James Wood

8 December 1994
Shadow Dance 
by Angela Carter.
Virago, 182 pp., £9.99, September 1994, 1 85381 840 2
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Flesh and the Mirror: Essays on the Art of Angela​ Carter 
edited by Lorna Sage.
Virago, 358 pp., £8.99, September 1994, 1 85381 760 0
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... AngelaCarter’s first novel, Shadow Dance, is a bold, leathery, coarse book. It summarises thinly its author’s later adventures and preoccupations, as the chapter headings in a picaresque novel do its hero’s ...

Paley’s People

Angela Carter

17 April 1980
The Little Disturbances of Man 
by Grace Paley.
Virago, 192 pp., £2.50, March 1980, 0 86068 127 0
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Enormous Changes at the Last Minute 
by Grace Paley.
Virago, 208 pp., £1.95, May 1979, 0 86068 108 4
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... What can put you off Grace Paley’s stories is their charm. ‘An Interest in Life’ in the collection called The Little Disturbances of Man begins: ‘My husband gave me a broom one Christmas. This wasn’t right. No one can tell me it was meant kindly.’ It is so scrupulously disarming an intro that it is bound to put people who like Joan Didion very much on their guard. And it is alarmingly easy ...

Potatoes and Point

Angela Carter

22 May 1986
The History and Social Influence of the Potato 
by Redcliffe Salaman, edited by J.G. Hawkes.
Cambridge, 729 pp., £35, November 1985, 0 521 07783 4
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... Eighty-odd years ago, when my father was a little boy, he would sometimes ask: ‘What’s for dinner?’ And my grandmother would reply: ‘Potatoes and point.’ That is, she would point to the hook in the rafters where the ham, if they’d had one, would have hung. Then they’d eat potatoes. This didn’t happen often: the family was relatively prosperous petit bourgeois and, besides, the coast ...
4 October 1984
In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women 
by Alice Walker.
Women’s Press, 138 pp., £7.50, September 1984, 0 7043 2852 6
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Nights at the Circus 
by Angela Carter.
Chatto, 295 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 7011 3932 3
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Democracy 
by Joan Didion.
Chatto, 234 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 7011 2890 9
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... The freedom to juggle with language, AngelaCarter suggests, is a promise and perhaps an instrument of other freedoms. Certainly her own cheerful jokes bespeak a lively independence of hallowed prejudices. ‘It’s very tiring, not being alienated ...

A New Kind of Being

Jenny Turner: Angela Carter

3 November 2016
The Invention of Angela CarterA Biography 
by Edmund Gordon.
Chatto, 544 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 7011 8755 2
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... In​ 2006, the British Library bought a huge archive of AngelaCarter’s papers from Gekoski, the rare books dealer, for £125,000.* It includes drafts, lots of them, a reminder that in the days before your computer automatically date-stamped all your files book ...

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