Complete Stories, a collection of Carrington’s published and unpublished short stories—many newly translated from their original French and Spanish—is a terrific introduction to her bizarre, dreamlike worlds.
—Carmen Maria Machado, NPR
In both her prose and her visual art, Carrington dissolves the borders between human and inhuman, fantasy and reality, death and life. In The Complete Stories we meet a mad queen who uses squirming live sponges to wash herself; a corpse that casts a circle of light in the forest; and a horse-woman who lives among plants and animals because humans won't accept her hybrid state. Whenever Carrington's heroines are forced to pledge allegiance, they always choose the company of beasts.
—Joy Press, Los Angeles Times
This is the best description of what it feels like to read her work: In the middle of the fluffy fairy tale, something bristles, something unpleasantly familiar, something human and frightening.
—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review
This definitive collection of Carrington's short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world. A stunning achievement.
Leonora Carrington has unswervingly followed the intensity of her own particular vision and way of being. . . . Her work bristles with a fierce, unconventional brand of feminism; anger gives it its final edge of irony and power.
Her delirious fantasy reveals to us a little of the secret magic of her paintings.
The writing is as neat, dry and witty as the content is wild, woolly and portentous.
—The Times Literary Supplement
Kathryn Davis's wonderful introduction to this complete collection (published in conjunction with the centennial of Carrington's birth) is a satisfying piece on its own, delightedly preparing the reader for a writer bestowed with a satisfying mix of the most wicked yet tender of visions.
Carrington's stories are optimistic and nihilistic, beautiful and grotesque, tender and cruel. She never contented herself with something simple or trite, a philosophy of life that can be shortened and simplified and put in a fortune cookie.
Her protagonists speak to gods, monsters, parents, and strangers in the same fearlessly ironic voice. Irrational or horrible things happen to people in these stories just as they do in fairy tales, dreams, the Bible, and real life. Intending to destroy dualistic viewpoints, Carrington offers no glib moral judgments.
—The Village Voice
Her stories are vivid, funny and surprisingly fresh . . . [combining] satire with surrealist situations to deftly mock the pomposity of organized religion, sexual repression or the endless forms of bureaucratic hypocrisy and ineptitude.
—The New York Times
A menagerie of eccentric humans, bloodthirsty talking animals, and hybrid creatures is on display in her fantastic, and fantastical, collection of stories.
The Complete Stories and Down Below are both remarkable books; read together they are almost overwhelming. The Carrington centennial should stand as one of the great literary events of 2017. I know that I will be pressing these books on friends, family, and acquaintances for years to come.