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Published: 02 February 2012
Genre: Classic fiction
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALI SMITHA richly comic tale of the tangled fortunes of two theatrical families, the Hazards and the Chances, Angela Carter's witty and bawdy novel is populated with as many sets of twins, and mistaken identities as any Shakespeare comedy, and celebrates the magic of over a century of show business.
Wise Children is Angela Carter's best book. It deserves many prizes and, better than that, the affection of generations of readers
Times Literary Supplement
Inventive and brilliant
A funny, funny book, Wise Children is even better than Nights at the Circus. It deserves all the bouquets, diamonds and stage-door Johnnies it can get
Independent on Sunday
Wonderful writing...there is not much fiction around that is as good as this
Delightful...this is rich prose which demands thought. It's also wickedly funny and a great read
Quite brilliant in every sense of the word
David Evans, Independent on Sunday
I have always loved Angela Carter as one of the wittiest, wisest, most playful and yet most fiercely iconoclastic of authors; a huge influence on a whole generation of writers. The wonderful Wise Children was her last novel, published a year before she died in 1992, and it's a fabulous celebration of life. The story of the twins Nora and Dora Chance and their memories of life in the theatre is like an odd fairy-tale combined with a Shakespearian comedy, full of twists and turns, secrets and surprises - an utter, exuberant joy.
Narrated by identical twin Nora Chance, Wise Children is a wry and quick moving account of a life lived out on stage and amongst the most bawdy of music hall performers. Recounting her theatrical childhood and then career, (filled with enough twists, turns and cases of mistaken identity to embarrass the most seasoned Shakespearian actor) Nora confides in the reader in such a conversational tone littered with amusing colloquial turns of phrase that it is hard not to be taken in by her and the events of her tumultuous life.
If you've never read any of Angela Carter's work, I suggest you try this or 'The Bloody Chamber' to get you started. Angela Carter's books are truly wonderful and the jacket designs are quirky, reflecting her style of writing. Similar to her other work, 'Wise Children' is another intriguing interpretation of the fairy tale genre. The depiction of the life of twins Nora and Dora Chance is full of surprise and told with Carter's trademark wit.
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Angela Carter was born in 1940. She lived in Japan, the United States and Australia. Her first novel, Shadow Dance, was published in 1965. Her next book, The Magic Toyshop, won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize ...