Wise Children


Just felt like adding a little elegy, or eulogy even, to Angela Carter, whose brand of magical sur/realism some of you may be aware of. I love her books, but this has to be my favourite.

Wise Children is the story of two illegitimate music hall stars, Nora and Dora Chance, and their mis/adventures through a century of legitimate and illegitimate theatre and family. The book gives London itself that grimy fairy-dust surreal quality that Angela Carter does so well, the city itself has a personality. However bad things get in life, Dora and Nora Chance have made me smile through. Not because this is a facile smiley-feel-good book, but by their sheer audacity and perversity. They triumph in the face of adversity, and spit in the face of good taste. By now, they are old friends. When I am 75 I want to be like that. Or Jenny Joseph's purple-haired railing tapping deviant!

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