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Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was a key figure in the Surrealist movement and an artist of remarkable individuality. She was born to a wealthy English family in 1917, expelled from two convents as a girl, and presented to the king’s court in 1933. Four years later, she ran off with Max Ernst and became a darling of the art world in Paris: serving guests hair omelets at one party, arriving naked to another. After Ernst was taken from their home to a Nazi internment camp in 1940, Carrington fled France. Nearly mad with grief and terror, she was thrown into a lunatic asylum in Spain, and, after escaping, married a Mexican diplomat, fleeing Europe for New York City then Mexico City, where she lived for the rest of her life. Throughout her long career, Carrington published novels, stories, and plays, in addition to making paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.

pages: 232

format: paperback

isbn: 978-0-9973666-4-8

publication date: April 2017

The Complete Stories

Leonora Carrington

“This definitive collection of Carrington’s short fiction is a treasure and a gift to the world. A stunning achievement.”
jeff vandermeer

with an introduction by kathryn davis

For reviews and coverage, follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was a master of the macabre, of gorgeous tableaus, biting satire, roguish comedy, and brilliant, effortless flights of the imagination. Nowhere are these qualities more ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her life.

Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.

Concurrent with The Complete Stories, the NYRBooks will be publishing Carrington’s memoir Down Below and her children’s book The Milk of Dreams. Stay tuned for information on joint-sponsored Carrington events in April!


Read about Leonora Carrington and her work at The London Review of Books and The Guardian, or check out our own Joanna Walsh on Carrington here.


“Leonora Carrington has unswervingly followed the intensity of her own particular vision and way of being . . . Her work bristles with a fierce, unconventional brand of feminism; anger gives it its final edge of irony and power.” angela carter

“Her delirious fantasy reveals to us a little of the secret magic of her paintings.” luis buñuel

“The writing is as neat, dry and witty as the content is wild, woolly and portentous.” times literary supplement

“Carrington’s stories are optimistic and nihilistic, beautiful and grotesque, tender and cruel. She never contented herself with something simple or trite, a philosophy of life that can be shortened and simplified and put in a fortune cookie.” sheila heti

“Her stories are vivid, funny and surprisingly fresh . . . [combining] satire with surrealist situations to deftly mock the pomposity of organized religion, sexual repression or the endless forms of bureaucratic hypocrisy and ineptitude.” the new york times

“A menagerie of eccentric humans, bloodthirsty talking animals, and hybrid creatures is on display in her fantastic, and fantastical, collection of stories.” publishers weekly

“Carrington’s prose is precise and droll, even when translated from French or Spanish. Her best stories glory in fantastic rebellion against gender constructs and class even as they tend toward shock and tragedy . . . a key work in the history of literary weirdness.” kirkus reviews


cover art: Leonora Carrington, Self-Portrait, ca. 1937-38. Oil on canvas. 25 9/16 x 32 in. © 2016 Estate of Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York