Kelly Link is the author, most recently, of Get in Trouble. This essay is adapted from her introduction to an edition of “The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories” published this month for the 75th anniversary of Angela Carter’s birth. She wonders, as do we,
Carter died in 1992. She would have turned 75 this year, and how I yearn for more of her. What would she make of the stories we tell now? What new thing would she make?...everything I needed to learn I found in “The Bloody Chamber”: the playfulness and generosity and friction — of ideas, in the admixture of high and low, the mythic and the realistic. Here are 10 overlapping stories about marriage and sexual awakening, decay and transformation, house cats and big cats, wolves and people who act like wolves. There are retellings of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Bluebeard.” There are counts and countesses, brides and husbands, mothers and fathers. There are only a handful of named characters, many just signifiers: Mr. Lyon and Beauty and Wolf-Alice.
“The girls and women in “The Bloody Chamber” remake the rules of their stories with their boldness. They know boldness is the point.”