Wayward Girls and Wicked Women

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Read 17/07/2019-02/08/2019

Rating 3 stars

Read as part of the 20 Books of Summer readathon.

I accidentally started Women in Translation month early with this collection of short stories. I should have known that Angela Carter would include a few women whose first language isn’t English. After all, being a woman who doesn’t conform to the artificial notion of femininity isn’t an exclusively Anglophone thing.

Carter introduces her selections as being about women who aren’t really wicked or wayward, at least not all of them. Continue reading

The Bloody Chamber

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Read 04/04/2019-11/04/2019

Rating 4 stars

Angela Carter’s collection of re-imagined folk tales and fables presents tales originally told to the detriment of women as bold stories of female resilience and triumph. Inspired by, among others, Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, Carter has her heroines rise up against their male oppressors and find freedom. Continue reading

The Magic Toyshop

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Read 09/12/2016-11/12/2016

Rating: 5 stars

The Magic Toyshop won Angela Carter her first literary award, 1968’s John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. It’s her second novel and describes a disturbing moment in the life of Melanie, a 15 year old girl at the edge of womanhood. Melanie is waking up to herself as a sexual being, and the first chapter finds her wondering about her mother as a fellow woman. Her parents are away in America. It’s the summer holidays, and Melanie takes the opportunity to explore her parents’ bedroom in the middle of the night.

During that night and into the following morning, tension builds and a crisis occurs that sees Melanie’s life, and that of her younger siblings, change forever. Continue reading