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Leonora Carrington Biography

(1917– ), The Debutante, The House of Fear, The Seventh Horse, Down Below, The Stone Door

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British novelist, short-story writer, and artist, born in Lancashire, educated in various Catholic convents. As a debutante in 1934, she was presented at court to George V (the inspiration of her 1936 story, The Debutante). While at art school at the Amedee Ozenfant Academy in London, she discovered Surrealism through the work of Herbert Read; shortly afterwards she met Max Ernst, with whom she went to live in France, where she wrote many of the short fictions later collected in The House of Fear and The Seventh Horse (both 1988), macabre and comic tales showing the influence of the English nursery rhyme school. In 1940, during the fall of France, Carrington suffered a breakdown, which she later recounted in Down Below (1972), a frighteningly detailed memoir of a season in hell which has become a classic of surrealist literature. She later moved to Mexico City where her painting took precedence over her writing. She also wrote two novels: the alchemical fantasy The Stone Door (1966), and The Hearing Trumpet (1976), an off-beat comedy about old age and religious questing, both of which were first published in French translation.

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