12 Days of Bookmas – Burning Your Boats

12 days of bookmas, book review, reading, books to read, books to read in 2019, important books, books of instagram, readers of instagram, reading, current favorites, current books, december reads, what I'm reading, angela carter, burning your boats, short stories

Title: Burning Your Boats

Author: Angela Carter

Genre: Short stories

Read it if: You like dreamy, alluring, unnatural narratives

“The woods enclose. You step between fir trees and then you are no longer in open air; the woods swallow you up.”

Angela Carter’s Burning Your Boats is her entire collection of short stories. That means we see fragments of a winters day, a brief sojourn to Japan, the fatalistic love story of the Erl-King, an erotically charged twist on Shakespeare, a sociopath who carves flutes from the bones of her lovers.

Every line of Carter’s work – especially her subversive fairy tales – is poetic in a way that can only be defined as preternatural, and reading her work is like shedding the shackles of reality and slipping into a world of extraordinary beauty and quiet agitation. It’s like brushing up against silk while taking water into your lungs. There is no hesitancy in her writing, but a subtle conviction that produces a thick, intense need to read each story again, and again, and again.

I first read her short story, The Erl-King, on a blustery day dividing autumn and winter. Something about that day – the wind shaking the trees outside my window, the flicker of the fire in the grate – embedded in me a certain infatuation with her writing that I have yet to shed. Not that I’d want to.


Thanks for reading! Looking for more inspiration? For more ramblings and photos of pretty things, follow my Twitter and Instagram.

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