Authors Like Angela Carter (13 Brilliant Book Recommendations)

Angela Carter is one of the most celebrated British authors of all time.

This feminist author is known for her bold writing, making her one of the most recognizable writers of the 20th century. 

Authors Like Angela Carter (13 Brilliant Book Recommendations)

Carter is perhaps most famous for The Bloody Chamber, a striking collection of short stories.

The majority of the stories in this collection are based on fairy tales and mythology, often taking on a more mature version of these narratives. 

In terms of novels, Carter has written numerous brilliant books that have captured the imagination of the reader.

These novels include The Magic Toyshop, Wise Children, and Nights at the Circus.

Many of these books employ a sense of magic realism, meaning that they merge a realistic perspective of the world with more fantastical elements.

This versatile author has also branched into a range of different writing styles, not just prose.

She has also produced poetry and short story collections, as well as some children’s books.

If you love reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, then you will cherish the writing of similar authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Rosie Garland, Carol Ann Duffy, Virginia Woolf, and Rebecca Makkai. Find out what books you should add to your reading list!

Books By Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

As mentioned, Carter’s most famous piece is The Bloody Chamber. The brilliant collection contains a variety of sensational short stories.

These stories share a common thread in that they explore subverted versions of traditional fairy tales.

For instance, the titular story is a unique adaptation of the Bluebeard folktale.

This short story tells the tale of a French Marquis who kills his brides and keeps them locked in a  chamber.

After discovering this, his latest wife finds herself in grave danger. However, Carter subverts the Bluebeard narrative by having her be rescued by her mother. 

Outside of the Bloody Chamber, one of Crater’s best-known pieces of writing is The Magic Toyshop.

This book follows a young girl named Melanie, who is sent to live with her uncle. Melanie soon discovers that this house is filled with nefarious mysteries. 

Other noteworthy Carter works that are worth reading include Love, The Passion of New Eve, and Burning Your Boats.

So be sure to check these books out if you are interested in Angela Carter.

Feminism is a key theme in the works of Angela Carter, who is often labeled a feminist writer.

In the aforementioned The Bloody Chamber, Carter gives the story a feminist twist by having the protagonist be saved by her mother, thus highlighting the power of female relationships. 

The desire for freedom and emancipation is also a common theme. Many of Carter’s protagonists find themselves limited and controlled in some way shape or form.

Carter often highlights the patriarchal power that men have over women, thus objectifying them to limited social roles.

Throughout The Magic Toyshop, Melanie embarks on a quest for self-autonomy.

Other key themes that Carter explores are gender, objectification, violence, power, and change.

Her works tend to be quite thought-provoking and often tackle important subjects.

Authors Like Angela Carter

Virginia Woolf

A Room of One's Own (The Virginia Woolf Library)

Virginia Woolf is one of the most recognizable literary names of the 20th century. As a modernist author, this writer has a unique style.

Woolf is particularly known for her stream-of-consciousness writing, which is a wonderful way of capturing the illusion of recording a person’s thoughts. 

Some of Woolf’s most iconic works include Mrs. Dalloway, The Years, and To The Lighthouse

However, Woolf may be best known for writing A Room of One’s Own.

This extended essay posits that a woman must have a room of her own if she is to be a successful writer.

Through this feminist essay, Woolf analyzes the various social and economical disadvantages that women experience. 

Woolf’s writing is best suited to people who are interested in feminist writing. Like Carter, gender and feminism are two of her most essential themes.

If you appreciate intelligent writing, then you will love Virginia Woolf.


  • Woolf makes fascinating points about the disadvantages that are imposed on women.
  • Her essays are sure to broaden your mind. Woolf has a thought-provoking style. 


  • To modern readers, Woolf’s exploration of feminism may come across as privileged. 

Themes: Morality, war, gender, feminism, freedom.

Daphne Du Maurier


Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca has become a modern classic. This 1983 best-selling book has strong gothic elements, which are often found in the works of Angela Carter. 

Rebecca tells the tale of an unnamed young woman, who marries the wealthy Maxim de Winter.

Moving into his gothic home, known as Manderely, the narrator soon discovers that everybody is still fixated on Rebecca, Maxim’s previous wife.

As she works to discover what happened to Rebecca, the protagonist realizes that she can never escape her shadow. 

While Rebecca is du Maurier’s most iconic novel, she has produced other amazing books.

This includes Jamaica Inn and The House on the Strand. Jamaica Inn tells the story of Mary Yellan, who stays at the titular inn.

However, she rapidly finds out that the inn is a little more disagreeable than she first thought.  

As a contemporary of Angela Carter, du Maurier has a similar style.

Her focus on female protagonists and the limited role that they have is similar to the themes depicted in Carter’s writing.

If you love reading these female-centric narratives, then you will adore the works of Daphne du Maurier. 


  • Rebecca is a classic that many people consider to be an essential book to read.
  • Carter and du Maurier have a habit of writing fleshed-out female protagonists.


  • The writing style may seem a little dated for modern readers.

Themes: Marriage, gender, deceit, power, social class, death. 

Rosie Garland 

Palace of Curiosities

Rosie Garland is not just a singer, but also an outstanding novelist and poet.

You may want to check out The Palace of Curiosities or Vixen, two of Garland’s most celebrated novels.

The Palace of Curiosities was Garland’s debut novel, which uses magic realism in a Victorian setting.

In fact, her use of magic realism is strikingly similar to Carter’s writing. The book follows Eve and Abel, who are rejected from Victorian society. 

Meanwhile, Vixen is set during the Black Death. It centers around the superstition that was present during this period.


  • Garland uses magic realism that rivals Carter’s writing.
  • Garland’s writing style is truly spellbinding.


  • Garland writes unusual narratives that not all readers will adore.

Themes: Magic, superstition, friendship.

Rebecca Makkai

Music for Wartime: Stories

Like Angela Carter, Rebecca Makkai is a short-story writer, making her writing a good fit for Carter fans.

She has written a sensational short story collection entitled Music for Wartime. This is a collection that’s filled with witty observations.

Comparable to Carter, Makkai has also ventured into novels. Her most famous novel is 

The Great Believers, a historical fiction that was first published in 2018.

This award-winning book tells the tale of Yale Tishman and the loss that she experiences when her friends begin to die. 

You will adore reading Makkai’s books if you appreciate writing that is packed with emotion. 


  • Like Carter, Makkai is both a short story writer and novelist.
  • Makkai’s writing is filled with compelling characters.


  • Makkai often delves into deep themes that not all readers will enjoy.

Themes: Friendship, death, loss, family.

Carol Ann Duffy

The World's Wife: Poems

The final pick is Carol Ann Duffy, a Scottish writer who is most celebrated for her poetry. From 2009 to 2019, she served as Poet Laureate. 

Duffy has worked on numerous different poetry collections, though her most iconic is The World’s Wife.

This poetry collection is all about proving female counterpoints to male figures from history or mythology.

This focus on gender is what makes Carol Ann Duffy a superb substitute for Angela Carter.

Another highly-coveted collection is Rapture, which is a deep and introspective exploration of love. 

Duffy’s writing is extraordinary for people who adore poetry. She has a subtle yet powerful writing style that many readers love.


  • Duffy offers fascinating observations about gender and feminism.
  • Duffy’s poetry has a strong sense of lyricism. 


  • If you don’t enjoy poetry, Duffy may not be a good fit for you. 

Themes: Gender, feminism, love, death, loss.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoyed reading some of Angela Carter’s classics, such as The Bloody Chamber, you may struggle to find authors with a similar style.

After all, few writers can construct narratives with such striking social commentary whilst also containing elements of magic and fantasy.

As this guide highlights, there are a few different authors who have produced works that are akin to Carter’s writing.

So if you want to read books that explore similar themes and have a comparable writing style, be sure to check out the aforementioned authors!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Writing Style Of Angela Carter?

Carter has a distinctive writing style that draws on folklore, fairy tales, magic realism, and gothic fiction. 

Was Angela Carter A Feminist?

Yes, Angela Carter is considered a feminist. This feminism is a key feature of her writing style, as her narratives often explore feminist themes. 

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Anna Davis