Saints and Strangers

Saints and Strangers

by Angela Carter


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"An absolutely unique voice...It would be an impertinence to call these eight delightful concoctions stories…A virtuoso Mendelssohn of fiction." — The New York Times Book Review
Drawing on American history, literary legend, and folk tale, Angela Carter transports us to that shadowy country between fact and myth in this book of short stories.

Lizzy Borden, the spinster daughter of a glutton and a compulsive miser, ticks off the hours before a murder. An eighteenth-century whore and pickpocket who runs off to join the Indians tells her story in a voice of bawdy authenticity. Carter immerses us in the worlds of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, of khans, princesses, and kitchen boys, bringing them to life in prose of seductive richness and perverse wit.

In The Bloody Chamber, said The New York Times Book Review, Carter rewrote classic fairy tales "with all her supple and intoxicating bravura." In Saints and Strangers, she is just as audacious, and the result is a book of thoroughly contemporary folk tales that belong utterly to Angela Carter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140089738
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/1987
Series: King Penguin Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 345,352
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Angela Carter (1940 -1992) wrote nine novels and numerous short stories, as well as nonfiction, radio plays, and the screenplay for Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves, based on her story. She won numerous literary awards, traveled and taught widely in the United States, and lived in London.

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Saints And Strangers 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
the_awesome_opossum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If Angela Carter weren't English, she would be a great author of American Southern gothic literature. The first short story in this collection, a re-imagining of Lizzie Borden in a sticky and oppressive (in more ways than one) atmosphere of summer heat and tension-laced household, sets the tone for the rest of the stories: the exaggerated and overwhelming made tangible. Carter writes wryly, like a story told when both the storyteller and listener are cynically, acutely aware that one shouldn't put faith in fairy tales, yet the stories insist on being told anyway.
caerulius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Carter's short stories take you to amazing places. She often uses real historic characters as the centerpieces of her tales, and evokes them with a gorgeous mystery that really makes them come to life. This collection is also included in Burning Your Boats: "The Fall river Axe Murders" is a beautiful account of the morning before Lizzie Borden famously murdered her parents. Lizzie is something of a passion for Carter, given that she is also the central figue in another story (not in this compilation), "Lizzie and the Tiger". It's a fascinating story, calm and lyrical with a sinister edge. "Our Lady of the Massacre" is the tale of a Lancashire prostitute who is prophecied by her old employer that she'll be the Madonna of the New World... and is then deported to the Americas and intimately witnesses the destruction of the native culture. Written in a period vernacular, the voice of the narratrix is clear and distinct; she feels like someone you could know. She evokes a colonial South that is lush and believable. "The Kiss"- Very short fable of an arabesque wife and her husband's architect. "Peter and the Wolf"- This I was surprised not to find included in The Bloody Chamber, given its folktale origins. However, this is not the Peter and the Wolf you may be familiar with. It's a haunting story about a young Russian boy's self discovery of faith and sex and humanity and the divine. "The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe" is a strange story, carrying the reader through the tortured psyche of one of America's most famous writers, with a special focus on the influence of his mother, a consumptive actress, on his later life. "The Kitchen Child" feels like a fable. It's witty and irreverent and charming. "Overture and Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night's Dream" I've never been super-partial to. It's beautifully written, but the Golden Herm, the "changeling boy" at the center of the argument between Oberon and Titania in Shakespeare's play, kind of left me "eh." "Black Venus" is an amazing story, centered around the beautiful Jeanne DuVal, the lover of Charles Baudelaire.
tawdryjones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Angela Carter is a brilliant storyteller and writer. Check her out!
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent retellings of fairy tales and other famous stories. My favorite is the short story based on the Lizzie Borden murders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago