Posted by Jen Moore
Remember what I was saying about regular posting schedule? Ahaha. haha. ha. Yes, NaNoWriMo is still eating all my spare writing cycles. No, I will not tell you how behind I am. Not until November 30th, anyway. In the meantime, have some words about a book I don’t have time to read.
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Burning Your Boats, the omnibus collection of Angela Carter’s short work, now unfortunately out of print. I was introduced to Angela Carter in college by my previously mentioned favorite English professor, Lisa Haines-Wright. I’ve tried Angela Carter’s novels, and wow, are they out there. I mean, I’m sure they’re Great Feminist Literature, but they are possibly just a little too Great for me. I don’t get them. Her short stories, though, are glorious.
One of my favorites is “The Fall River Axe Murders,” about Lizzie Borden and her life up to the day that made her famous. By the end of that story, she’s got you thinking, “Yeah, I’d murder my dad with an axe, too.” Another one I adore is “The Executioner’s Beautiful Daughter,” which she is supposed to have written because someone once argued that the only thing that a story needs is for something to happen, and Carter thought that putting that kind of restriction on something as versatile as a story was ridiculous. Nothing actually happens in “The Executioner’s Beautiful Daughter,” but it’ll stick with you forever all the same.
And, of course, this collection is chock-full of Carter’s famous fairy tale retellings. She makes these stories gruesome and enthralling, and what’s interesting is that many of them don’t need to be made feminist, they just needed to be tweaked a little to let Carter’s brand of feminism shine through. They’re wonderful, and I adore them.
I recently found a copy of this out-of-print volume at my local used book store. O, frabjous day! I recommend scrounging a copy from anywhere you can find one; it’s marvelous.