The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Paperback)
For those looking to capture the nostalgia of a childhood spent reading fairytales, Angela Carter must certainly earn a place on the bookshelf. 'The Bloody Chamber' is perhaps Carter's most famous work, a collection of short stories that pull from the tropes we might recognise from fable, legend and folklore. Yet in place of these traditionally sanitised narratives, Carter instead uses the familiar conflicts (love, lust, power, and loss) to take us into a world that feels wholly unique. Her examination of sexuality, gender, and violence is unrivalled in its stark discomfort, with the reader watching these jarring themes unfold in romantic, gothic settings. This is a dissonance that Carter consciously employs to lend her stories a subtle kind of creeping terror. Angela Carter is always surprising, her prose sensual and sumptuous. 'The Bloody Chamber' is gorgeously horrifying.— Laura
Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other contemporary masters of supernatural fiction. In her masterpiece, The Bloody Chamber—which includes the story that is the basis of Neil Jordan’s 1984 movie The Company of Wolves—she spins subversively dark and sensual versions of familiar fairy tales and legends like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Bluebeard,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” giving them exhilarating new life in a style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Kelly Link is the author of the story collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners. She has won the Nebula and World Fantasy awards and has had stories published in The Best American Short Stories, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. Born in Miami, Florida, she now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
“Her masterpiece . . . Sex isn’t a subtext in The Bloody Chamber, but the text itself. . . . Eroticism hangs heavy in the air here . . . like an expensive, drugging perfume. . . . Carter produced . . . fiction that was lavishly fabulist and infinitely playful, with a crown jeweler’s style, precise but fully colored. . . . Her books are . . . revered by fans of speculative fiction stateside and have influenced writers as diverse as Rick Moody, Sarah Waters, Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer, Jeanette Winterson and Kelly Link. Salman Rushdie, who became her friend, described her as ‘the first great writer I ever met.’ Yet her legacy has been a slow and stealthy one, invisible to many of the readers who have benefited from it. . . . Most contemporary literary fiction with a touch of magic, from Karen Russell’s to Helen Oyeyemi’s, owes something to Angela Carter’s trail-blazing. . . . If our personal and literary spaces feel more wide open now, she’s one of the ones we have to thank.” —Laura Miller, Salon
“A deluxe edition of her masterpiece, a bold collection of short stories tinged with the supernatural . . . just in time for the 75th anniversary of Carter’s birth.” —Entertainment Weekly
“The Bloody Chamber is such an important book to me. Angela Carter, for me, is still the one who said: ‘You see these fairy stories, these things that are sitting at the back of the nursery shelves? Actually, each one of them is a loaded gun. Each of them is a bomb. Watch: if you turn it right it will blow up.’ And we all went: ‘Oh my gosh, she’s right—you can blow things up with these!’ ” —Neil Gaiman, The Daily Telegraph
“A wonderfully written book, ironical, cerebral, elegant . . . distinguished by bold, inflected language and ornate, indeed often bloody, imagery.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review
“The tales are retold by Angela Carter with all her supple and intoxicating bravura.” —The New York Review of Books
“She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque stylist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber—her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity.” —Margaret Atwood, The Observer
“She writes a prose that lends itself to magnificent set pieces of fastidious sensuality . . . dreams, myths, fairy tales, metamorphoses, the unruly unconscious, epic journeys, and a highly sensual celebration of sexuality in both its most joyous and darkest manifestations.” —Ian McEwan
“The Bloody Chamber retains its power because there will never be enough writing this perceptive—or just plain beautiful.” —Flavorwire
“The best horror writer of the 20th century you’ve probably never heard of . . . Her most celebrated book is a high gothic collection of short stories called The Bloody Chamber that you should read immediately if the genre holds any appeal for you.” —New York magazine’s Vulture