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Angela Carter
Angela Carter.jpg
Born Angela Olive Stalker
(1940-05-07)7 May 1940
Eastbourne, England
Died 16 February 1992(1992-02-16) (aged 51)
London, England
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, journalist
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Bristol
Spouse Paul Carter (m. 1960; div. 1972)
Mark Pearce (m. 1977)
Children 1
Website
www.angelacarter.co.uk

Angela Olive Carter-Pearce (née Stalker; 7 May 1940 – 16 February 1992), who published under the pen name Angela Carter, was an English novelist, short story writer and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works. She is best known for her book The Bloody Chamber which was published in 1979. In 2008, The Times ranked Carter tenth in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[1] In 2012, Nights at the Circus was selected as the best ever winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.[2]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, to Sophia Olive (née Farthing; 1905–1969) and Hugh Alexander Stalker (1896–1988), Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled against anorexia.[3] After attending Streatham and Clapham High School, in south London, she began work as a journalist on The Croydon Advertiser,[4] following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.[5]. Up until her teenage years she was an obedient and 'chubby' child until she went on diet, lost weight and changed her dressing. this was perhaps why she became anorexic. She became a rude child who challenged authorities and was abusive to her mother, at this point she had few friends. She switched between extreme shyness and depression. This change did not however affect her performance in school. She decided against going to Oxford University and chose marriage instead which she felt would allow her to escape her parents.[6]

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter,[4] divorcing in 1972. In 1969, she used the proceeds of her Somerset Maugham Award to leave her husband and relocate for two years to Tokyo, where she claims in Nothing Sacred (1982) that she "learnt what it is to be a woman and became radicalised".[7] She wrote about her experiences there in articles for New Society and a collection of short stories, Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces (1974), and evidence of her experiences in Japan can also be seen in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972).

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, with whom she had one son.[8] In 1979, both The Bloody Chamber, and her influential[citation needed] essay, The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography, appeared. In the essay, according to the writer Marina Warner, Carter "deconstructs the arguments that underlie The Bloody Chamber. It's about desire and its destruction, the self-immolation of women, how women collude and connive with their condition of enslavement. She was much more independent-minded than the traditional feminist of her time."[9]

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.[10] 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 film: The Company of Wolves (1984) and The Magic Toyshop (1987). She was actively involved in both adaptations;[11] 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 controversial television documentary, The Holy Family Album, are discussed in Charlotte Crofts' book, Anagrams of Desire (2003). Her novel Nights at the Circus won the 1984 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for literature. Her last novel, Wise Children, is a surreal wild ride through British theatre and music hall traditions.

At the time of her death, Carter had started work on a sequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre based on the later life of Jane's stepdaughter, Adèle Varens; only a synopsis survives.[12]

Angela Carter died aged 51 in 1992 at her home in London after developing lung cancer.[13][14]

WorksEdit

NovelsEdit

Short fiction collectionsEdit

Poetry collectionsEdit

  • Five Quiet Shouters (1966)
  • Unicorn (1966)
  • Unicorn: The Poetry of Angela Carter (2015)

Dramatic worksEdit

Children's booksEdit

Non-fictionEdit

She wrote two entries in "A Hundred Things Japanese" published in 1975 by the Japan Culture Institute. ISBN 0-87040-364-8 It says "She has lived in Japan both from 1969 to 1971 and also during 1974" (p. 202).

As editorEdit

  • Wayward Girls and Wicked Women: An Anthology of Subversive Stories (1986)
  • The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1990) a.k.a. The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book
  • The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1992) a.k.a. 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)

As translatorEdit

Film adaptationsEdit

Radio playsEdit

  • Vampirella (1976) written by Carter and directed by Glyn Dearman for BBC. Formed the basis for the short story "The Lady of the House of Love".
  • Come Unto These Yellow Sands (1979)
  • The Company of Wolves (1980) adapted by Carter from her short story of the same name, and directed by Glyn Dearman for BBC
  • Puss-in-Boots (1982) adapted by Carter from her short story and directed by Glyn Dearman for BBC
  • A Self-Made Man (1984)

TelevisionEdit

Works on Angela CarterEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. 5 January 2008. The Times. Retrieved on 2010-03-05.
  2. ^ Alison Flood (6 December 2012). "Angela Carter named best ever winner of James Tait Black award". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.angelacartersite.co.uk/ Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Angela Carter". 17 February 1992. Retrieved 18 May 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk. 
  5. ^ "Angela Carter - Biography". The Guardian. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Angela Carter's Feminism". www.newyorker.com. 
  7. ^ Hill, Rosemary (2016-10-22). "The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  8. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/01/angela-carter-far-from-fairytale-edmund-gordon
  9. ^ Marina Warner, speaking on Radio Three's the Verb, February 2012
  10. ^ "Book Of A Lifetime: Shaking a Leg, By Angela Carter". The Independent. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  11. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/books/live/2017/feb/21/angela-carter-webchat-with-biographer-edmund-gordon-post-your-questions-now
  12. ^ Clapp, Susannah (29 January 2006). "The greatest swinger in town". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Sarah Waters (3 October 2009). "My hero: Angela Carter". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Michael Dirda, "The Unconventional Life of Angela Carter - prolific author, reluctant feminist," Washington Post, March 8, 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  1. ^ Online version is titled "Angela Carter's feminist mythology".