1940–92, English writer. She was a newspaper reporter before studying at the Univ. of Bristol (B.A., 1965), where she explored medieval literature, Freud, surrealism, and feminism, all of which were to exert powerful influences on her work. Her early novels, Shadow Dance
(1966) and The Magic Toyshop
(1967, film 1986), are Gothic works filled with violence. After translating (1976) Charles Perrault
's fairy tales, she began her finest and most famous book, The Bloody Chamber
(1979), sensual and strangely beautiful adaptations of fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast
The film Company of Wolves
(1984), which she cowrote, is adapted from that collection's version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Her other novels include The Passion of New Eve
(1977), Nights at the Circus
(1984), and Wise Children
(1991). Her short stories are collected in Burning Your Boats
(1995) and her miscellaneous articles in Nothing Sacred
(1992) and Shaking a Leg
(1998). She also wrote the nonfiction feminist study The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography
(1979) and children's books.
See biography by E. Gordon (2017); studies by L. Tucker, ed. (1998), A. Day (1998), L. Sage (2006 and, as ed., 2009), A. Easton, ed. (2000), S. Gamble (2009), L. Peach (2009), S. Andermahr and L. Phillips, ed. (2012), J. Bristow and T. L. Broughton (2014), and C. Frayling (2015).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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