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Angelby Hilary Mantel
Synopses & Reviews
Perhaps every novelist harbors a monster at heart, an irrepressible
and utterly irresponsible fantasist, not to mention a born
and ingenious liar, without which all her art would go for naught.
Angel, at any rate, is the story of such a monster. Angelica
Deverell lives above her diligent drab mother’s grocery shop
in a dreary turn-of-the-century English neighborhood, but
spends her days dreaming of handsome Paradise House, where
her aunt is enthroned as a maid. But in Angel’s imagination,
she is the mistress of the house, a realm of lavish opulence, of
evening gowns and peacocks. Then she begins to write popular
novels, and this fantasy, and her incredible will to achieve it,
becomes her whole life. Angel is confidant, ambitious, selfish,
and successful, and she lets no one—mother, aunt, editor, best
friend, husband—stand in her way.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Angel, unlike Angel’s own novels, is self-aware,
funny, and subtly layered. It both sharply satirizes its protagonist
and acknowledges the intensity of her imagination and
the rigor of her work, all the while seeing her as fully human,
complicated, and even sympathetic.
About the Author
Elizabeth Taylor (1912–1975) was an English short-story writer
and novelist. Her first novel, At Mrs Lippincote’s, was published
in 1945 and was followed by eleven more, along with five
volumes of short stories and a children’s book, Mossy Trotter.
Hilary Mantel is an English novelist, short story writer, and
critic. Her novel, Wolf Hall, won the Man Booker Prize in 2009.
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