A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
A great, feline, tawny shape whose pelt was barred with a savage geometry of bars the colour of burned wood. His domed, heavy head, so terrible he must hide it. How subtle the muscles, how profound the tread. The annihilating vehemence of his eyes, like twin suns.
“The Tiger’s Bride” was first published in 1979 and is one of Angela Carter’s most celebrated stories. It’s a take on Beauty and the Beast with a twist to the conclusion and a subversive, modern tone.
The story would not have aged as well as it has if it relied entirely on that broad description of it’s plot. I mean, fairy tale and mythology rehashes are getting a bit overdone these days, right? So why does Angela Carter’s work still standout?
Well, there’s a complexity to her vision for “The Tiger’s Bride” that’s just rare. It’s more than a simple twist on an old tale, more than a feminist retelling, more than a playfully “adult” version. It’s all of that at once, and yet more again. Add to that the still rarer beauty of her prose, full of vivid descriptions and memorable details, and you get something really special. A truly challenging read that you can treasure like a favorite fairy tale.
Review by Matthew