Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award

Chosen as a 2016 Book of the Year in The Financial Times, The Guardian,
The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator
and The Sunday Times

‘The best biography of the year ... [It] will become a classic.’
Philip Hensher, The Guardian, Books of the Year

 

‘A fascinating journey . . . triumphantly bringing us closer to the brilliantly wayward personality and mind of one of the finest, most original writers of the last 50 years.’
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian, Books of the Year

 

‘A wise, generous and inspiring book by an exciting young scholar who writes like a prize-winning novelist.’
Richard Davenport-Hines, The Spectator, Books of the Year

 

‘Humane, wide-ranging, replete with deftly handled detail and as sensitive as its subject to the fabular nature of identity . . . A rich and scrupulous account of a much-loved writer and her work.’
Claire Lowdon, The Sunday Times, Books of the Year

 

‘My book of the year . . . fascinating.’
Helen Simpson, The Observer, Books of the Year

 

‘Finely judged and elegantly written . . . [It] has the irreplaceable imprint of a life still warm to the touch of memory.’
Rosemary Hill, The Guardian

 

‘Brilliantly researched,
astute and fascinating.’

Colm Tóibín

 

‘Few biographies are as consistently spot-on as this one . . . Gordon's construction of Carter as a generous feminist who never lost the common touch comes alive on the page, and, beyond that, Gordon offers enough historic background to vividly evoke a mid- and late-20th-century world. This bio never flags, never condescends, and never loses its pace.’
Publishers' Weekly
(starred review)

 

‘Gordon’s book reminded me of the deep pleasures of literary biography at its best. It will fascinate Carter’s admirers, create interest in her work among a new generation and possibly even make her detractors
think again.’

Max Liu, The Independent

‘Edmund Gordon has written a terrific book - judicious, warm, confident and casually witty . . . The pages turn themselves.’
Dwight Garner, The New York Times

 

‘Impressively detailed and elegant . . . Gordon never attempts the easy reading, or the deft summary of the writer’s intentions, giving instead due consideration to the seething mass of folkloric, feminist, erotic, fabulist and psychoanalytic influences that make Carter’s work so electrifying.’
Alex Clark, The Times Literary Supplement

 

‘Edmund Gordon is clearly a serious and gifted biographer . . . [He] discusses Carter's writing with skill and sense. He also manages to make her self-invention understandable and even sympathetic.’
Alison Lurie,
The New York Review of Books

 

‘This is a marvellous biography, especially rich on Carter's development as a writer and persona (or personas). Gordon is always nonjudgemental,  but by no means credulous of Carter's more exaggerated stories. Crucially, he refuses the biographical cliche of reading the work for "evidence" of how the author "really" thought.’
Delia Falconer,
The Sydney Morning Herald

 

‘An exemplary piece of work . . . rich and polyphonic. Everyone should read it.’
Philip Hensher, The Spectator

 

‘Meticulous research shines through every paragraph . . .
This fascinating, highly readable biography will be extremely
hard to beat.’

Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times

 

‘Gordon's narrative has a beautiful, effortless flow as he seamlessly moves back and forth from the life to the works. Expansive and lavish, this outstanding biography does much to demythologize Carter, revealing her to be a singular writer of her time.’
Kirkus Reviews
(starred review)

 

‘Glints with well-placed
detail and witty aperçus . . .
the most valuable kind of
literary biography.’

Lucy Hughes-Hallett,
Literary Review

‘[A] gripping biography, brimming with new material . . . Gordon’s achievement is tremendous.’
Alexandra Harris, The Financial Times

 

‘An exceptionally thoughtful and engrossing biography.’
Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

 

‘Gordon’s elegant and subtle biography makes very good use of Carter’s journals and letters, as well as his own interviews and travels; he is an excellent critic of her work; and he is precise, never prurient, about some of her tempestuous relationships with men.’
Gaby Wood, The Daily Telegraph

 

‘[A] wonderful biography’
Sarah Baxter, New Statesman

 

‘Meticulously thorough and acutely sensitive . . . The Invention of Angela Carter succeeds in conveying the thrilling virtuosity of this avant-garde, ironic and wildly adventurous personality . . . [A] tremendous achievement.’
Selina Guinness, The Irish Times

 

‘Gordon brings a wealth of research, intelligence and wit to this biography . . . He vividly illuminates Angela Carter’s life and work.’
Lisa Appignanesi

 

‘One of the stand-out books
of 2016.’

Stuart Kelley, The Scotsman

 

‘A magnificent new biography . . . compelling, rich and humanising.’
Nathan Smith, The Australian

 

The Invention of Angela Carter acquits itself admirably. It not only offers a sympathetic, if not always flattering, portrait of its subject; it is also insightful when it comes to the convergence of personal, intellectual and cultural influences that shaped her unique sensibility’
James Ley, The Sydney Review of Books

 

‘Gordon has done a
remarkable job.’

Claire Harman, London Evening Standard