Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter
The Collected Short Stories

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Synopsis

From early reflections on jazz and Japan, through vigorous refashionings of vampires and werewolves, to stunning snapshots of reallife outcasts and the glorious but tainted world of "the rich and famous," this complete collection of Angela Carter's short stories gathers together four published books -- Fireworks, The Bloody Chamber, Black Venus, American Ghosts and Old World Wonders -- with her early work and uncollected stories. Angela Carter's major preoccupations -- violence in the wild and at home; fairy stories, ancient and new; magic, fabulous and quotidian; the frailty and mystery of the flesh and the strength of the spirit -- are all examined in startling relief. Among the treasures of this masterly collection: a young Lizzie Borden visits the circus; a pianist makes a Faustian pact in a flyblown Southern brothel; an earnest student is taken on a gothic ride through the ambiguous residue of Hollywood's golden age; Alice is transmuted by a crazed fruit-grower in Prague; and Mary Magdalene steps out of Renaissance canvases, transfigured by wilderness and solitude. Acclaimed as "the poet of the short story," ANGELA CARTER (1940-1992) lived in England, the United States (she taught widely on both coasts), Japan, and Australia. "Her imagination was one of the most dazzling of this century," wrote Marina Warner when Angela Carter died at age fifty-one. And said Salman Rushdie: "She died at the height of her powers. For writers, these are the cruelest deaths: in midsentence, so to speak. The stories in this volume are the measure of our loss. But they are also our treasure to savour and hoard.
 

About Angela Carter

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A powerful and disturbing writer, Angela Carter created haunting fiction about travelers surviving their passage through a disintegrating universe. Often based on myth or fairy tale-borrowed or invented for the occasion-her work evokes the most powerful aspects of sexuality and selfhood, of life and death, of apocalypse. Carter's most successful novels include The Magic Toyshop (1967), which received the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and Several Perceptions (1968), winner of the Somerset Maugham Award. The Passion of New Eve (1977), a story of the end of the world and its possible new beginning with failed mankind replaced by a self-generating womankind. She translated many fairy tales and wrote several collections of short stories, including The Bloody Chamber (1979) which won the Cheltenham Festival of Literature Award and was the basis for the powerful movie A Company of Wolves. She worked as a journalist and as a professor at Brown and the University of Texas. She published two nonfiction books of interest: Nothing Sacred, selected writings, and The Sadeian Woman (1979).
 
Published January 1, 1995 by Chatto & Windus. 560 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Historical events and personages viewed as in a distorting mirror, and beasts of prey endangered by encounters with their chosen quarry, are representative of the charmingly deranged fiction of the late Carter (194093).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Burning Your Boats: The Colle...

Publishers Weekly

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The late Angela Carter, better known as a novelist (Wise Children), wrote stories throughout her all-too-brief career, and they are all here, handsomely and perceptively introduced by Salman Rushdie,

Apr 01 1996 | Read Full Review of Burning Your Boats: The Colle...

Publishers Weekly

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PW called this collection of the late writer's gothic, colorful tales ""a generous treat."" (Aug.)

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Publishers Weekly

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There are variations on Lizzie Borden, on the childhood of Edgar Allan Poe and several on Little Red Riding Hood, who gets the better of the Big Bad Wolf in at least two of them (Carter was an ardent but scarcely PC feminist).

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The Bookbag

In these stories Carter's fantastic imagination is often tempered by very down to earth comments, as when the changeling prince from Shakespeare's play remarks on the English summer nothing in my princely, exquisite, peacock-jewelled heredity prepared me for the dank, grey, English midsummer.

Feb 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Burning Your Boats: The Colle...

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