"In both her prose and her visual art, Carrington dissolves the borders between human and inhuman, fantasy and reality, death and life. In The Complete Stories we meet a mad queen who uses squirming live sponges to wash herself; a corpse that casts a circle of light in the forest; and a horse-woman who lives among plants and animals because humans won't accept her hybrid state. Whenever Carrington's heroines are forced to pledge allegiance, they always choose the company of beasts."—Joy Press, Los Angeles Times, "Leonora Carrington, the surrealist storytelling genius you've never heard of"
"This definitive collection of Carrington's short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world. A stunning achievement."—Jeff VanderMeer
"Leonora Carrington has unswervingly followed the intensity of her own particular vision and way of being...Her work bristles with a fierce, unconventional brand of feminism; anger gives it its final edge of irony and power."—Angela Carter
"Her delirious fantasy reveals to us a little of the secret magic of her paintings."—Luis Buñuel
"The writing is as neat, dry and witty as the content is wild, woolly and portentous."—TLS
"Kathryn Davis's wonderful introduction to this complete collection (published in conjunction with the centennial of Carrington's birth) is a satisfying piece on its own, delightedly preparing the reader for a writer bestowed with a satisfying mix of the most wicked yet tender of visions."—Entropy
"Carrington's stories are optimistic and nihilistic, beautiful and grotesque, tender and cruel. She never contented herself with something simple or trite, a philosophy of life that can be shortened and simplified and put in a fortune cookie."—Sheila Heti
"Her protagonists speak to gods, monsters, parents, and strangers in the same fearlessly ironic voice. Irrational or horrible things happen to people in these stories just as they do in fairy tales, dreams, the Bible, and real life. Intending to destroy dualistic viewpoints, Carrington offers no glib moral judgments."—The Village Voice
"Her stories are vivid, funny and surprisingly fresh...[combining] satire with surrealist situations to deftly mock the pomposity of organized religion, sexual repression or the endless forms of bureaucratic hypocrisy and ineptitude."—The New York Times
"Complete Stories, a collection of Carrington's published and unpublished short stories—many newly translated from their original French and Spanish—is a terrific introduction to her bizarre, dreamlike worlds."—NPR
"A menagerie of eccentric humans, bloodthirsty talking animals, and hybrid creatures is on display in her fantastic, and fantastical, collection of stories."—Publishers Weekly
"The Complete Stories and Down Below are both remarkable books; read together they are almost overwhelming. The Carrington centennial should stand as one of the great literary events of 2017. I know that I will be pressing these books on friends, family, and acquaintances for years to come."—Tor.com
"Carrington's prose is precise and droll, even when translated from French or Spanish. Her best stories glory in fantastic rebellion against gender constructs and class even as they tend toward shock and tragedy...a key work in the history of literary weirdness."—Kirkus
The first complete collection by English surrealist Carrington (1917-2011) includes three previously unpublished stories.Most of these 25 stories are brief gothic tales lush with surprising detail, set in worlds where the supernatural and aristocracy overlap. In "The Royal Summons," a queen bathes in goat's milk with live sponges and a talking tree chases a girl. Girls strive to escape nightmarish families in several of the early stories; in others, woodsy half-humans live more freely: a forest nymph in "As They Rode Along the Edge," who sold her soul "for a kilo of truffles," has sex with a handsome boar "under a mountain of cats." The more macabre fables risk being campy but achieve an oneiric, Jungian effect, such as "Pigeon, Fly!" in which a woman paints a corpse's portrait and discovers "the face on the canvas was my own." Animals transform into people and vice versa, unsure which is the true self. In "Jemima and the Wolf," a wild girl with claws and thorns in her hair falls in love with a shape-shifter and is misled by a corpse. Some of the later stories show women fleeing marriages or critique technology and politics, including a short satire in which a tiny effigy of Stalin is exploited to create magic medicine. Carrington's prose is precise and droll, even when translated from French or Spanish. Her best stories glory in fantastic rebellion against gender constructs and class even as they tend toward shock and tragedy. Quite a few are silly but end abruptly, and there's a lot of sharp, wise humor, too, with bons mots such as, "How can anybody be a person of quality if they wash away their ghosts with common sense?" Feels a bit dated but nevertheless a key work in the history of literary weirdness.