Angela Carter


Angela Carter

Angela Carter (May 7, 1940February 16, 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism and science fiction works.

Biography

Born to Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the "Croydon Advertiser", following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

Carter’s writings are intertextual webs. This influence can be seen in her novel "Wise Children", which is notable for its many Shakespearean references. Carter was also interested in working with writings by male authors, such as the Marquis de Sade (see "The Sadeian Woman") and Charles Baudelaire (see her short story 'Black Venus'), amongst other literary forefathers. But she was also fascinated by the matriarchal, oral, storytelling tradition, rewriting several fairy tales for her short story collection "The Bloody Chamber", including "Little Red Riding Hood", "Bluebeard," and two reworkings of "Beauty and the Beast."

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. They divorced after twelve years. In 1969 Angela Carter used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and travel to Japan, living in Tokyo for two years, where, she claims, she "learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised" ("Nothing Sacred" (1982)). She wrote about her experiences there in articles for "New Society" and a collection of short stories, "" (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in "The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman" (1972). She was there at the same time as Roland Barthes, who published his experiences in "Empire of Signs" (1970).

She then explored the United States, Asia and Europe, helped by her fluency in French and German. She spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including the University of Sheffield, Brown University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of East Anglia. In 1977 Carter married Mark Pearce.

As well as being a prolific writer of fiction, Carter contributed many articles to "The Guardian", "The Independent" and "New Statesman", collected in "Shaking a Leg". She adapted a number of her short stories for radio and wrote two original radio dramas on Richard Dadd and Ronald Firbank. Two of her fictions have been adapted for the silver screen: "The Company of Wolves" (1984) and "The Magic Toyshop" (1987). She was actively involved in both film adaptations, her screenplays are published in the collected dramatic writings, "The Curious Room", together with her radio scripts, a libretto for an opera of Virginia Woolf's "Orlando", an unproduced screenplay entitled "The Christchurch Murders" (based on the same true story as Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures") and other works. These neglected works, as well as her her controversial television documentary, "The Holy Family Album", are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, "Anagrams of Desire" (2003).

At the time of her death, Carter was embarking on a sequel to Brontë's "Jane Eyre" based on the later life of Jane's stepdaughter, Adèle Varens. However, only a synopsis survives. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2006/jan/29/theatre.angelacarter?gusrc=rss&feed=books Theatre: Nights at the Circus | Stage | The Observer ] ]

Her novel "Nights at the Circus" won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature.

Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 after developing cancer. Below is an extract from her obituary published in "The Observer":

"She was the opposite of parochial. Nothing, for her, was outside the pale: she wanted to know about everything and everyone, and every place and every word. She relished life and language hugely, and revelled in the diverse."

Works as author

Novels

:*"Shadow Dance" (1966) aka "Honeybuzzard":*"The Magic Toyshop" (1967):*"Several Perceptions" (1968) :*"Heroes and Villains" (1969):*"Love" (1971):*"The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman" (1972) aka "The War of Dreams":*"The Passion of New Eve" (1977):*"Nights at the Circus" (1984):*"Wise Children" (1991)

hort fiction

:*"" (1974) aka "Fireworks: Nine Stories in Various Disguises" and "Fireworks" :*"The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories" (1979):*"The Bridegroom" (1979) Uncollected short story featured in "Lands of Never" ed. Maxim Jakuboswi (1983) :*"Black Venus" (1985) aka "Saints and Strangers":*"American Ghosts and Old World Wonders" (1993) :*"" (1995)

Poetry

:*"Five Quiet Shouters" (1966):*"Unicorn" (1966)

Dramatic works

:*"Come Unto These Yellow Sands: Four Radio Plays" (1985):*"" (1996) (includes Carter's screenplays for adaptations of "The Company of Wolves" and "The Magic Toyshop"; also includes the contents of "Come Unto These Golden Sands: Four Radio Plays"):*"The Holy Family Album" (1991)

Children's books

:*"The Donkey Prince" (1970) illustrated by Eros Keith:*"Miss Z, the Dark Young Lady" (1970) illustrated by Eros Keith:*"Comic and Curious Cats" (1979) illustrated by Martin Leman:*"The Music People" (1980) with Leslie Carter:*"Moonshadow" (1982) illustrated by Justin Todd:*"Sea-Cat and Dragon King" (2000) illustrated by Eva Tatcheva

Non-fiction

:*"The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography" (1978):*"Nothing Sacred: Selected Writings" (1982):*"Expletives Deleted: Selected Writings" (1992) :*"Shaking a Leg: Collected Journalism and Writing" (1997)

Works as editor

:*"Wayward Girls and Wicked Women: An Anthology of Subversive Stories" (1986):*"The Virago Book of Fairy Tales" (1990) aka "The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book":*"The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales" (1992) aka "Strange Things Still Sometimes Happen: Fairy Tales From Around the World" (1993):*"Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales" (2005) (collects the two Virago Books above)

Works as translator

:*"The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault" (1977):*"Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales" (1982) (Perrault stories and two Madame Leprince de Beaumont stories)

Film adaptations

:*"Company of Wolves" (1984) adapted by Carter with Neil Jordan from her short story of the same name "Wolf-Alice" and "The Company of Wolves":*"The Magic Toyshop" (1987) adapted by Carter from her novel of the same name

Works on Angela Carter

:* [http://www.manuscrit.com/catalogue/textes/fiche_texte.asp?idOuvrage=6256 Milne, Andrew (2006), "The Bloody Chamber d'Angela Carter", Paris: Le Manuscrit Université] :* [http://www.manuscrit-universite.com/universite/fichetexte.asp?IdOuvrage=6994 Milne, Andrew (2007), "Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber: A Reader's Guide", Paris: Le Manuscrit Université]

References

External links

* [http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cm/home/schools/hum/lit/eventsnews/fairytale 2009 Conference on The Fairy Tale After Angela Carter]
* [http://www.angelacartersite.co.uk The Angela Carter Site]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0141462/ IMDb]
* [http://www.themodernword.com/scriptorium/carter.html The Scriptorium: Angela Carter] , by Jeff VanderMeer
* [http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/12/27/specials/carter-rushdie.html "A Very Good Wizard, a Very Dear Friend"] , a remembrance by Salman Rushdie
* [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/acarter.htm Angela Carter] biography and selected bibliography
*
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/authors/author/0,,96006,00.html Angela Carter Timeline]


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