Angela Carter (1940-1992) was the author of many novels (including Nights at the Circus), collections of short stories, plays, and books for children.
Carter, who died this year, delivers comic writing of the highest order in this giddy tale of a highly eccentric British theatrical family. (Jan.)
On their 75th birthday, we meet Dora and Nora Chance, former dancers and illegitimate twin daughters of one of Britain's leading theatrical actors. They relate their colorful and amusing family history as the novel unfolds, describing their often strained relations with the legitimate branch of the family. Carter writes in a dry, comic, British style reminiscent of Fay Weldon. There is a good deal of theater chatter and a raucous Hollywood tour the girls undertake with father Melchior and his twin, Uncle Peregrine. Still, while there is much imaginative fun, the insider humor may be too parochial for American tastes. Libraries can probably skip this one.-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
"Dazzling . . . The culmination of Angela Carter's prolific and inventive career." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Wise Children inhabits its own manic universe and would probably translate into a spirited, bawdy musical comedy-farce of the kind which the Chance sisters themselves performed, long ago." --Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review "Wise Children is vintage Carter." --The Village Voice