In the pursuit of magnificence, nothing is sacred,' says Angela Carter, and magnificence is indeed her own achievement. One of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation, her work as a journalist and critic was no less original. Long autobiographical pieces on her life in South Yorkshire and South London are followed by highly individual inspections of 'abroad'. Some of her most brilliant writing is devoted to Japan - exotically and erotically described here - so perfectly suited to the Carter pen. Domestically, Angela Carter used her mordant wit and accurate eye to inspect England and Englishness as it manifested itself throughout the land. Then she turns to her own craft, and her extraordinarily wide-ranging book reviews are masterpieces.