The collected short stories of pretty much the only female author I enjoy reading, this book is intelligent, fetishistic and sparkling like a treasure chest.
Angela Carter is a much-theorized author, the kind whose books are put in feminism and queer studies syllabi at universities. Most other authors who share such lists are, honestly, barely readable for the sake of pure fun. They do not like the world as it is. They rebel and complain and scold and sermonize and put the fear of political correctness in you. Most female authors I’ve come across (feminist or not) either tend to scold-and-sermonize, or quietly sidestep gender/sexuality from their subject matter. On the other hand, most erotic writing I’ve come across is intended primarily at men. It makes me squirm to read them. I’m irritated by the casual misogyny and more often than not deeply pained by the quality of writing that’s simply bad. Angela Carter comes along and blasts away all these problems like a raging tornado. The short stories are the best things she’s written, they’re rich with literary (lots of Shakespeare, yay!), historical and mythological references, unselfconscious, guilt-free and intense. There’s no other writing in the world that can quite compare.