Angela Carter

Angela Carter was a British novelist, poet and journalist, best known for her award-winning works Nights at the CircusWise Children and short fiction collection The Bloody Chamber. Widely acknowledged as one of the most original and dazzling writers of the last century, Carter’s prose marries elements of fantasy, Gothic horror and feminist mythology with linguistic inventiveness.

After studying English Literature at Bristol University, Carter started her career as a journalist in London. In 1966, she published two poetry collections, Five Quiet Shouters and Unicorn, and her first novel Shadow Dance, followed by The Magic Toyshop in 1967. Her third novel Several Perceptions (1968) won the Somerset Maugham Award, the proceedings of which Carter used to leave behind an unhappy marriage and relocate to Tokyo for two years – a period which she later described as ‘transformational’ for both her literary career and her personal life.

After Japan, she travelled extensively in the States and spent much of the late 1970s and 1980s as a writer in residence at universities, including Sheffield, Brown in Rhode Island, the University of Adelaide and the University of East Anglia. Her 1979 short story collection The Bloody Chamber won the Cheltenham Prize, and in 1984 she was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her eighth novel Nights at the Circus.

In addition to her prolific career as a novelist and poet, Carter wrote two original radio dramas, adapted several of her short stories for radio and was actively involved in the adaptations of her novels to film. Throughout her career, she contributed articles to the Guardian, the Independent and New Statesman, collected in Shaking a Leg (1997).

Carter passed away in 1992 at her home in London after developing lung cancer. She was 51.

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