Author(s): Angela Carter
Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction
From the master of the literary supernatural and author of The Bloody Chamber, her acclaimed novel about the exploits of a circus performer who is part-woman, part-swan
Sophi Fevvers--the toast of Europe's capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec--is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers's true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him--and the reader--on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia--a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.
'Raunchy, raucous...a rich, turn of the 19th century world, which reeks of human and animal variety' The Times
Winner of James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Fiction) 1984 and James Tait Black Memorial Book Prizes: Fiction 1984.
"'Angela Carter has influenced a whole generation of fellow writers towards dream worlds of baroque splendour, fairy tale horror, and visions of the alienated wreckage of a future world. In Nights at the Circus she has invented a new, raunchy, raucous, Cockney voice for her heroine Fevvers, taking us back into a rich, turn of the 19th century world, which reeks of human and animal variety' - The Times. * 'Nights at the Circus is a glorious enchantment. But an enchantment which is rooted in an earthy, rich and powerful language...It is a spell-binding achievement' - Literary Review * 'A glorious piece of work, a set-piece studded with set-pieces. The narrative has a splendid ripe momentum, and each descriptive touch contributes a pang of vividness. By doing possible things impossibly well, the book achieves a major enchantment' - Times Literary Supplement * 'A mistress-piece of sustained and weirdly wonderful Gothic that's both intensely amusing and also provocatively serious. This is a big, superlatively imagined novel' - Observer * 'A remarkable book by any standards' - Guardian"
Angela Carter was born in 1940. She lived in Japan, the United States and Australia. Her first novel, Shadow Dance, was published in 1965. Her next book, The Magic Toyshop, won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize and the next, Several Perceptions, the Somerset Maugham Award. She died in February 1992.