The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography

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9780701187569: The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography

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.

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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 other publications in Britain and the US, including Bookforum and The Guardian.

Review:


"[A] gripping biography, brimming with new material... Gordon's achievement is tremendous."--Alexandra Harris, Financial Times


"Brilliantly researched, astute and fascinating."--Colm Tóibín


"[A] splendid biography... Everyone should read it."--Philip Hensher, The Spectator (UK)


"Gordon's book reminded me of the deep pleasures of literary biography at its best. It will fascinate Carter's admirers, create interest in her work among a new generation and possibly even make her detractors think again."--Max Liu, The Independent (UK)


"Meticulous research shines through every paragraph... This fascinating, highly readable biography will be extremely hard to beat."--Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times (London)


"Gordon's elegant and subtle biography... makes very good use of Carter's journals and letters, as well as his own interviews and travels; he is an excellent critic of her work; and he is precise, never prurient, about some of her tempestuous relationships with men."--Gaby Wood, The Daily Telegraph (UK)


"Glints with well-placed detail and witty apercus... the most valuable kind of literary biography."--Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Literary Review (UK)


"Gordon has done a remarkable job."--Claire Harman, London Evening Standard


"Gordon brings a wealth of research, intelligence and wit to this biography... He vividly illuminates Angela Carter's life and work."--Lisa Appignanesi, author of Trials of Passion


"Edmund Gordon's The Invention of Angela Carter takes a fascinating journey through layers of English and Japanese bohemia while triumphantly bringing us closer to the brilliantly wayward personality and mind of one of the finest, most original writers of the last 50 years."--Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian


"Luminous... [Gordon] beautifully drew the best from Carter's friends and acquaintances, and the result will become a classic."--Philip Hensher, The Guardian


"I would enthusiastically recommend Edmund Gordon's subtle, empathetic account."--Lara Feigel, The Guardian


"[A] thorough and timely biography...fascinating."--Helen Simpson, The Guardian


Selected as a "Best Book of 2016" by the Financial Times and the Guardian in the U.K.


"Gordon's narrative has a beautiful, effortless flow as he seamlessly moves back and forth from the life to the works. Expansive and lavish, this outstanding biography does much to demythologize Carter, revealing her to be a singular writer of her time."--Kirkus, Starred Review


"Few biographies are as consistently spot-on as this one of Angela Carter... [Edmund] Gordon's construction of Carter as a generous feminist who never lost the common touch comes alive on the page, and, beyond that, Gordon offers enough historic background to vividly evoke a mid- and late-20th-century world. This bio never flags, never condescends, and never loses its pace. One might not read this longish book in a single sitting, but it's a page-turner highly recommended to anyone looking for an entertaining and intelligent read."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


"Gordon's affectionate biography re-creates [Angela Carter's] unconventional life against the tumultuous backdrop of postwar England... [and] could reintroduce Carter to a new generation of admirers."--Booklist


"Edmund Gordon is clearly a serious and gifted biographer."--New York Review of Books, Alison Lurie


"Edmund Gordon has written a terrific book - judicious, warm, confident and casually witty... Gordon has had the good fortune to seize upon, for his subject, not only an important writer but one who led a deeply interesting life. This bio unfolds a bit like one of the fairy tales Carter shook to release its meaning. The pages turn themselves... This biography is witchy, in the best sense."--New York Times, Dwight Garner


"A notably levelheaded book... it reclaims Carter from the fairy kingdom and places her within what sounds like a real life."--New Yorker


"An exceptionally thoughtful and engrossing biography."--Washington Post, Michael Dirda


"[A] sympathetic, cleareyed new biography...[by] a judicious and diligent biographer."--New York Times Book Review, Ruth Franklin


"Enchanting."--Vulture, Christian Lorentzen


"Gordon's biography works both as a portrait of a brilliant artist and as a fascinating social and literary history of England after World War II."--Seattle Times, Mary Ann Gwinn


"This biography presents a vivid and comprehensive portrait of not only the writer but also the woman."--Library Journal


Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award


"Gordon's sensitivity and empathy allow all of Carter's contradictions to come through and paints a vivid picture of a truly vibrant and defiant personality."--Popmatters


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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Angela Carter is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and beguiling writers of the last century. Her work stands out for its bawdiness and linguistic zest, its hospitality to the fantastic and the absurd, and its extraordinary inventiveness and range. Her life was as modern and as unconventional as anything in her fiction. Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne in 1940, her story spans the latter half of the twentieth century. After escaping an oppressive childhood and a difficult early marriage, the success of her first novels enable the freedoms of travel - journeying across America in a Greyhound bus, and then on to Tokyo, where she lived for three transformative years - before settling in London to write her last, great novels, amid the joys of late motherhood and prestigious teaching posts abroad. By the time of her tragic and untimely death at the age of fifty-one, she was firmly established as an iconoclastic writer whose fearlessly original work had reinvigorated the literary landscape and inspired a new generation. 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 works as The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children. Edmund Gordon has followed in Carter s footsteps to uncover a life rich in incident and adventure. With unrestricted access to her manuscripts, letters and journals, and informed by dozens of interviews with her friends and family, this major biography offers a definitive portrait of one of our most dazzling writers. Bookseller Inventory # ARG9780701187569

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Angela Carter is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and beguiling writers of the last century. Her work stands out for its bawdiness and linguistic zest, its hospitality to the fantastic and the absurd, and its extraordinary inventiveness and range. Her life was as modern and as unconventional as anything in her fiction. Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne in 1940, her story spans the latter half of the twentieth century. After escaping an oppressive childhood and a difficult early marriage, the success of her first novels enable the freedoms of travel - journeying across America in a Greyhound bus, and then on to Tokyo, where she lived for three transformative years - before settling in London to write her last, great novels, amid the joys of late motherhood and prestigious teaching posts abroad. By the time of her tragic and untimely death at the age of fifty-one, she was firmly established as an iconoclastic writer whose fearlessly original work had reinvigorated the literary landscape and inspired a new generation. 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 works as The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children. Edmund Gordon has followed in Carter s footsteps to uncover a life rich in incident and adventure. With unrestricted access to her manuscripts, letters and journals, and informed by dozens of interviews with her friends and family, this major biography offers a definitive portrait of one of our most dazzling writers. Bookseller Inventory # ARG9780701187569

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