A Card From Angela Carter

A Card From Angela Carter
Susannah Clapp
Reviewed by Kirsty Logan
Bloomsbury
Thu, 02/02/2012
9781408826904
£10.00

This is a biography with a difference; it is told through postcards, by a friend.

Angela Carter is the grande dame of lush, fantastical stories, and published 15 books of fiction and poetry in her lifetime – but in the 20 years since her death, there has yet to appear an in-depth study of her life and work.

This is not that book, but it's something much more beautiful: a personal tribute to a writer and friend. The book is structured around a series of postcards that Susannah Clapp, a previous editor of the London Review of Books, received throughout her friendship with Angela Carter. Although the actual content of the postcards is sparse, they're used more as a jumping-off point for Clapp to share many anecdotes and insights into Carter's family life, domestic tendencies (or lack of), responses to critics, and stances on feminism and politics.
 
This is not for those unfamiliar with Carter's work: no timeline or overall view is provided, so it's not useful in providing a sense of her literary work or personal journey as a writer. Readers of Carter's work, though, will love the insights into her personal and professional life, and even the most enthusiastic fan will find something new here. Treading the ground between comfort reading and literature, this book is perfect for those who are short on time but crave brain-food.

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