One of the pleasures of being a book dealer is feeling the resurgence of interest in one particular writer or genre. Over the last year it has been Angela Carter. Not that Carter has been particularly neglected since her death but now is the point, a couple of decades on, when writers can start to drop off the public's radar. I have noticed however that Carter sells well at fairs, and I'm often asked for particular works. One gentleman told me he worshipped at the feet of Angela Carter! She was also the author about whom I sold most books at the last fair I attended.
The recent biography (and a good recent biography obviously always helps a writer's reputation) The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon won or was shortlisted for a number of different awards and comes in and out of stock very quickly. I have some first editions of it in stock at the moment including this one.
The interest in her though is as much academic as popular. There is a new Angela Carter Society with a very academic board, and the hopes of an Angela Carter conference with a request for proposals for hosting. There are a number of useful twitter feeds for those wanting to keep up-to-date with all things Carter including this one and this one. Recent books include Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers: Angela Carter and European Gothic by Rebecca Munford which would also be of interest to those researching Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe, the Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire; and Inside The Bloody Chamber: On Angela Carter, the Gothic and other Weird Tales by Christopher Frayling.
More of Carter's own work, other than her widely available novels, has been produced in accessible well-edited collections including Shaking A Leg: Collected Journalism and Writings edited by Jenny Uglow. And I have found copies of her radio plays sell so well I have difficulty keeping them in stock.
As if to prove my point on the boom in Carter interest, I've noticed whilst composing this post that there is a TV programme, Angela Carter: Of Wolves & Women, on BBC2 at 9pm on Saturday.
It is very much the Gothic/fairy tale element that seems to be fuelling the interest, rather than Carter being simply pigeon-holed as a woman writer. And this adult interest in the creative push we get from fairy tales is evident in the work of Marina Warner (I noticed Karen at Cornflower had a Marina Warner video up recently) as well as in other genres such as this fabulous (in all senses) work on fashion: