The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography

The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography

by Edmund Gordon


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Widely acknowledged as one of the most important English writers of the last century, Angela Carter's work stands out for its bawdiness and linguistic zest, its hospitality to the fantastical and the absurd, and its extraordinary inventiveness and range.

Her life was as vigorously modern and unconventional as anything in her fiction. This is the story of how Angela Carter invented herself - as a new kind of woman and a new kind of writer - and how she came to write such seductive and distinctive masterworks as The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus, and Wise Children. Because its subject so powerfully embodied the spirit of the times, the book also provides a fresh perspective on Britain's social and cultural history in the second half of the twentieth century. It examines such topics as the 1960s counterculture, the social and imaginative conditions of the nuclear age, and the advent of second wave feminism.

Author Edmund Gordon has followed in Angela Carter's footsteps - travelling to the places she lived in Britain, Japan, and the USA - to uncover a life rich in adventure and incident. With unrestricted access to her manuscripts, letters, and journals, and informed by interviews with Carter's friends and family, Gordon offers an unrivalled portrait of one of the twentieth century's most dazzlingly original writers.

This sharply written narrative will be the definitive biography for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190626846
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2017
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Edmund Gordon studied philosophy at Trinity College Dublin and English literature at University College London, and since 2011 has been a lecturer in English at King's College London. A regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, he has also written for a variety of publications in Britain and the US, including Bookforum and The Guardian.

Table of Contents

Prologue: 'Alienated is the only way to be'

Chapter One: 'A matriarchal clan'
Chapter Two: 'States of grace are always evil'
Chapter Three: 'Flight from a closed room'
Chapter Four: 'Just a wife'
Chapter Five: 'A slapstick nightmare'
Chapter Six: 'Am I a writer?'
Chapter Seven: 'Happiness is ego-shaped'
Chapter Eight: 'The edge of the unimaginable'
Chapter Nine: 'Vertigo'

Chapter Ten: 'Through the Looking Glass'
Chapter Eleven: 'The Smile of Winter'
Chapter Twelve: 'A child's version of a happy city'

Chapter Thirteen: 'My now stranger's eye'
Chapter Fourteen: The Sadeian Woman.
Chapter Fifteen: 'Jurassic productions'
Chapter Sixteen: The University
Chapter Seventeen: the London literary world
Chapter Eighteen: 'Everything is so unreal'
Chapter Nineteen: Nights at the Circus.
Chapter Twenty: not feeling anxious'
Chapter Twenty-One: Sudden Fame
Chapter Twenty-Two: Age of Thatcher
Chapter Twenty-Three: Activist
Chapter Twenty-Four: 'Call it a happy ending'
Chapter Twenty-Five: 'Farewell performance'

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