Wednesday, 17 February 2010
The passion of New Eve (Carter) 96
I am normally very meticulous about reading books that I have been sent, either by friends or publishers, but unfortunately The passion of New Eve by Angela Carter has been sitting on the side for some time. I had very kindly been sent a copy by Catherine who reads this blog.
It tells the story of Evelyn, an Englishman who comes to New York, gets involved with a woman who nearly dies from a subsequent abortion, and then moves on, and later undergoes a sex change operation. It's a book about gender and gender issues, and I think the book is somewhat stronger in being a discourse about this than in being a "story" in the more obvious sense.
I had been promised that this book was "bizarre" and I think that this was a bit of an understatement. I didn't really know what to make of it, and found myself repulsed by quite a lot of it. I can't say that I enjoyed it at all, but on the other hand I could recognise the amazing quality of Carter's writing which is quite unlike most other prose that I read.
It's been published three times by Virago, and of the three covers I think that the original green one best sum up the confusion of Evelyn/Eve, although the picture on the most recent copy which I own is also quite clever.