One of our most imaginative and accomplished writers, Angela Carter left behind a dazzling array of work: essays, citicism, and fiction. But it is in her short stories that her extraordinary talentsāas a fabulist, feminist, social critic, and weaver of talesāare most penetratingly evident. This volume presents Carter's considerable legacy of short fiction gathered from published books, and includes early and previously unpublished stories. From reflections on jazz and Japan, through vigorous refashionings of classic folklore and fairy tales, to stunning snapshots of modern life in all its tawdry glory, we are able to chart the evolution of Carter's marvelous, magical vision.
"Baudelaire, Poe, Dream-Shakespeare, Hollywood, panto, fairy tale: [Angela] Carter wears her influences openly, for she is their deconstructionist, their saboteur." So writes Salman Rushdie in his introduction to this essential dark fantasy collection, the complete stories (1962-1993) of a master of perfervid prose, dark eroticism, northern Gothic exuberance (think Isak Dinesen), and Grand Guignol imagery. (You may be familiar with Neil Jordan's movie The Company of Wolves, based on one of Carter's tales.) As the New York Times writes, "There is an archaic cruel streak in many of these stories. Violence is always a possibility; beauty and courage and passion may prevail, but the weak and the timid go to the wall. In this, Angela Carter is true to the material that inspired her. After all, one reason the old fairy tales have survived for hundreds of years is that they do not try to disguise what the world is really like."