By Angela Carter
This book is about Fevvers, a circus woman who can really fly. Angela Carter was one of my writing heroes when I was a student—she wrote lush, passionate, and subversive prose that was also funny. She was, above all, wicked and sexy when she talked about relations between men and women. I went to the University of East Anglia to study with her, only to find she didn't bother to teach me at all. "This is all absolutely fine" she'd say, patting my precious manuscript. Then she'd be off talking about Japan, or Hamlet, or whether I should bother going back to live in Ireland when London was so much more exciting. I was immensely flattered—that my work should be treated with such tact, almost as though the printed word was actually a private thing. She made me feel like that indefinable thing: a real writer.