The Life and Work of Raucous Fabulist Angela Carter

Minna Zallman Proctor at Bookforum:

I would imagine that anyone approaching Edmund Gordon’s comprehensive biography, The Invention of Angela Carter, has a memorable “first time” with Carter. When it comes to cult figures of the intelligentsia, the story of the first time is practically de rigueur. Gordon himself mentions his own in his epilogue. During a post-university year in Berlin, he came upon a secondhand copy of The Magic Toyshop, which Carter had described to her editor in 1966 as a “Gothic melodrama about a sort of South Suburban bluebeard toymaker & his household.” A writer Gordon admired, Ali Smith (an iconoclast of her own order), had spoken highly of Carter, whose reputation he’d previously thought had something “off-putting” about it—“a sense, perhaps, that she was just for girls.” Nonetheless, he bought the novel and “tore” through it “in a few intoxicated hours, stunned by the fearless quality of the imagination on display and by the luminous beauty of the prose.”

Carter’s fiction (like the figure of Angela Carter herself) occupies an array of literary territories. She was a postmodernist and a feminist, a fabulist and an inadvertent scholar, a columnist and a cultural critic.

more here.