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Leonora Carrington is a British born Surrealist painter and writer now living in Mexico city who has been described, alongside people such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, as one of the leading lights of the Surrealist movement. Born in Lancashire in 1917 to a strict Catholic family she first came into contact with surrealism through her lover, Surrealist painter Max Ernst, before moving to Mexico in 1942. The Hearing Trumpet, her most famous piece of writing, was first published in France in 1974. Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and she lives in Cambridge. She is the author of Free Love and Other Stories, Like,Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental,Girl Meets Boy, The First Person and Other Stories, There but for the, Artful, How to be both, and Public library and other stories. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize.
A classic of fantastic literature, Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet is the occult twin to Alice in Wonderland, published with an introduction by Ali Smith in Penguin Modern Classics. One of the first things ninety-two-year-old Marian Leatherby overhears when she is given an ornate hearing trumpet is her family plotting to commit her to an institution. Soon, she finds herself trapped in a sinister retirement home, where the elderly must inhabit buildings shaped like igloos and birthday cakes, endure twisted religious preaching and eat in a canteen overlooked by the mysterious portrait of a leering Abbess. But when another resident secretly hands Marian a book recounding the life of the Abbess, a joyous and brilliantly surreal adventure begins to unfold. Written in the early 1960s, The Hearing Trumpet remains one of the most original and inspirational of all fantastic novels. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.