Patrick Hamilton
Giving Angela Carter her due

By Richard Rayner "A good writer can make you believe time stands still. Yet the end of all stories, even if the writer forbears to mention it, is death," wrote the English writer Angela Carter, who died 16 years ago this month. At the time Carter was only 51, and her career was in a strange place; she'd won smaller literary prizes while still in her 20s, notably for her gorgeous coming-of-age novel "The Magic Toyshop" (Penguin: 208 pp., $15 paper), but her triumphant and carnivalesque later novels, "Nights at the Circus" (Penguin: out of print) and "Wise Children" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 240 pp., $14 paper), were marginalized in England,...