Pyrotechnics: The Incandescent Imagination of Angela Carter

Call for Book Chapters

Editors Dr Charlotte Crofts (Associate Professor Filmmaking) and Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts (Associate Professor Literature) at UWE Bristol.

Angela Carter’s literary gymnastics are astonishing, as is the range of reference – from high art to popular culture – with which her literary output is littered. She also wrote for other media, including radio, film, television, was an artist and folk musician. She has been a major influence on both contemporary writers and artists, as the success of the recent ‘Strange Worlds’ exhibition attests. Her cultural influences span continents, with Japan, America, Europe looming large in the pantheon of mythologies she both draws upon and explodes.

In the wake of recent developments in Angela Carter scholarship, including the ‘Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter’ exhibition at the RWA Bristol, the international ‘Fireworks: The Visual Imagination of Angela Carter’ conference in Bristol and Edmund Gordon’s recent biography, which draws on the recently translated and forthcoming memoirs of her Japanese lover Sozo Araki, this call for chapters seeks to explore neglected aspects of Angela Carter’s life and work.

The title ‘Pyrotechnics’ takes its inspiration from Angela Carter’s Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces, a collection of short stories, which was written whilst living in Japan, where she says she “learnt what it was to be a woman and became radicalised” (Nothing Sacred, 1982). Carter also wrote about her transformative encounter with Japanese culture in her journalism, where her discussions range from Japanese terrorism, literature and cinema to hanabi fireworks and fertility festivals, irezume tattoos, manga and bunraku puppetry.

This book seeks to critically explore Angela Carter’s legacy and showcase the current state of Angela Carter scholarship, aiming to give new insights into the pyrotechnic creativity of Angela Carter and to pay tribute to her often incendiary imagination, as well as re-assessing her impact and importance for the twenty-first century. Chapters should seek to move on from well-rehearsed arguments and offer new and original scholarship, challenging the mythologisation of Angela Carter as the often sanitised “white Witch of English Literature” to explore her wider influences and influence, such as in recognising her subversive humour, irreverence and the unsettling effect of her work across a range of literary forms and media.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

Visual imagination
Other writing
Journalism (reviews, newspaper/ journal articles)
Media/television/ radio
Japanese culture (tattooing, theatre, geishas etc…)


Deadline for 500-word Abstracts: Sunday 30 April 2017

Deadline for 6,000 word chapters: Sunday 1 October 2017

Please send abstracts to Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts at and to Dr Charlotte Crofts at with “Pyrotechnics Abstract” in the subject.

Download a printable pdf of the call.