Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wayward Girls and Wicked Women” as Want to Read:
Wayward Girls and Wicked Women
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wayward Girls and Wicked Women

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  480 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
These stories extol the female virtues of discontent, sexual disruptiveness & bad manners. Here are subversive tales, by Jane Bowles, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid & Katherine Mansfield, among others, which have one thing in common - to restore adventuresses & revolutionaries to their rightful position as models for all women.
Paperback, 339 pages
Published 2004 by Virago (first published 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wayward Girls and Wicked Women, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wayward Girls and Wicked Women

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nandakishore Varma
Feb 17, 2012 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it
As I have said before, any short story collection usually tends to collect 3 stars from me. This is only logical, as any collection will contain the good, the bad and the average: so the mean is likely to cluster around the centre for most (hence the bell-shaped curve of the normal distribution). The exceptions occur when the editor goes out of his/ her way to choose extremely good (or bad!) stories: or when the stories revolve around a common theme, giving and taking from one another, so that t ...more
May 24, 2017 Manda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much enjoyed this collection of stories. Some of the authors represented here I'd read before, but many were new to me and with the exception of one story I'd read before at a workshop, these stories were new to me too.
Dec 18, 2016 Nibi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: semper-femina, my-own
well, that for sure took some time.
May 30, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: subversive chicks (Sarah, I think you'd dig it)
Shelves: anthology, 2009
Perhaps a complete review some day but in the meantime...

The average of the individual story ratings (out to four decimal places): 3.8056


• "The Last Crop" by Elizabeth Jolley: ★★★

• "The Débutante" by Leonora Carrington: ★★★★

• from The Gloria Stories by Rocky Gámez: ★★★

• "Life" by Bessie Head: ★★★

• "A Guatemalan Idyll" by Jane Bowles: ★★

• "The Young Girl" by Katherine Mansfield: ★★★

• "Three Feminist Fables" by Suniti Namjoshi: ★★★★

• "The Rainy Moon" by Colette: ★★★★

• "Wedlock" by George
Natalie Bowers
Updating as I read each story:

'Life' gets 4 stars. Loved the narrator's voice. I'm with Sianana: I think Lesego planned it all from the beginning.

The Gloria Stories' gets 3 stars. It read like the start of a longer story rather than a stand alone short. Interesting characters, but an unsatisfying ending.

'The Last Crop' gets 4 stars: a clever story, believable characters and a strong voice. I liked the daughter's view of her mother and brother, and although I could see the end coming I didn't fee
Jun 13, 2010 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, short-stories, 1980s
Although I really enjoy Angela Carter's own short stories, evidently I'm not as keen on her choice of those of other writers. Perhaps it was the collection of so many female-centred stories in one book, but I did feel that I was being beaten over the head with conspicious feminism a lot of the time, as strings of women were driven to the titular 'wickedness' through the opressive situations in which they found themselves rather than any real fault of their own. The tone of the book seems to ask ...more
Lee Kofman
Mar 05, 2015 Lee Kofman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most choices in this anthology were great, the stories are rich and fast-paced, full of energy. The contributors are wonderfully diverse geographically and in terms of historical times. There are contributors from China, Egypt, Victorian England and more. Carter’s story wasn’t actually my favorite and although I was very excited to be reading my first story ever by Katherine Mansfield, I found the latter to be tedious and pointless. But I made a few interesting discoveries of new-to-me authors, ...more
Wildly uneven, “Wayward Girls and Wicked Women” wavers so much in tone that it’s hard to form any coherent opinion of it. The women don’t seem wayward or wicked (for the most part) so much as bordering on hysteria, a term the Greeks used centuries ago when women acted in ways the menfolk didn’t understand. From two old maid sisters reported on in a meandering fashion by a woman trapped in her own past to a modern Medea to a wife and mother making a flailing leap at lesbianism (you’re not sure wh ...more
Apr 01, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Juliebragger
A collection of short stories put together by Angela Carter, in which girls are most definitely not made of sugar and spice and all things nice, and aren't really judged for it either.

Whilst I didn't enjoy these as much as I did Carter's own short stories (probably the reason why the only one by her within, The Loves of Lady Purple, was my favourite), these tales written in a variety of ways and from various countries were always told from an interesting perspective and had enough going on that
An eclectic assortment of short works by women. The absolute highlight of the collection was Colette's "Rainy Moon"--it blew me away. I honestly didn't finish the book because I often need to be in the right "mood" to read a collection like this all the way through. It was great for a quick 20 pages before bed or a short train ride. I look forward to finishing it and I'm intrigued by Angela Carter (the editor of this collection) and the short story of hers that she included.
Tristan Egarr
The two shortest stories in this collection - Suniti Namjoshi's Three Feminist Fables, and Jamaica Kincaid's Girl - are both awesome. Carter's Loves of Lady Purple and Andree Chedid's The Long Trial are also excellent. The rest are varied, mostly okay but not great.
Much like any book of short stories there was that awkward ratio of dreck to good. But glad to have read it. Can't remember when I finished it but noticed it was still in my 'reading' list today. whoops!
Apr 18, 2007 Torie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women on pedestals and the people who put them there
There is so much to love about this book. Angela Carter is the editor, so you know she picked some good ones. There are no idealized interpretations of women here, and Leonora Carrington's hilarious "The Debutante" is included, which is probably my most favorite story ever.
Oct 07, 2014 Jessie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It pains me to give two stars to a collection of stories by and about women, but unfortunately most of them didn't do much for me. I also wouldn't call most of the stories in this collection subversive, but maybe that's just me.
I did enjoy some stories more than others particularly 'The Last Crop' and 'Oke of Okehurst'. But overall the impression this collection left me with was that for many of the women and in some cases the male characters, life was bleak, lonely and often tragic.
Aug 23, 2012 Fatima rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could. Not. Read. Didn't grab my interest - which was disappointing, given the promising title. Abandoned after sampling a story and a half.
Mar 24, 2015 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I always struggle with books of short stories because they are hard to get engrossed with. Some of the stories in this book were very good but some were just a bit slow.
Jan 29, 2017 jasmine rated it really liked it
A Woman Young & Old
Three Feminist Fables
The Rainy Moon
Sep 02, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short story collections, even by a single author, can be really uneven. These stories were all good or great.
Jul 24, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I had a time machine, I would go back and give Angela Carter a big wet kiss.
This collection is an inspiration to readers and to women.
Feb 06, 2013 Soledad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Este libro marcó mi adolescencia y mis lecturas futuras.
Jan 18, 2013 Jakeyfatdog rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really couldn't get my head around this. Most of the stories were just too far out for me so I have abandoned it.
Jun 12, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yea, I don't know. I guess I'm not a big fan of short stories. Some of them were excellent, some of them were just plain strange.
Anthology of short stories
Laura Brown
Laura Brown rated it really liked it
May 25, 2013
M. rated it really liked it
Jul 04, 2011
Diane rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2012
James Barker
James Barker rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2015
Jane rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2011
Julie rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales
  • The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories
  • Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People
  • Sugar and Other Stories
  • Flesh Which Is Not Flesh
  • Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England
  • Elizabeth: Virgin Queen?
  • White Stains - Anaïs Nin & Friends (Delectus Classics of Erotic Literature)
  • The Whole Story and Other Stories
  • Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses
  • The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
  • From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
  • Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers
  • Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top
  • Fancies and Goodnights
  • Stories and Essays of Mina Loy
  • The Beautiful Indifference: Stories
  • Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank
Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. Th
More about Angela Carter...

Share This Book

“He is the intermediary between us, his audience, the living, and they, the dolls, the undead, who cannot live at all and yet who mimic the living in every detail since, though they cannot speak or weep, still they project those signals of signification we instantly recognize as language.” 9 likes
“Women should stick together. Didn’t you learn anything yet?” 7 likes
More quotes…