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Carter, Marie 1978–

Carter, Marie 1978–

PERSONAL: Born March 28, 1978, in Livingston, Scotland; daughter of Antony (a bus driver) and Patricia (a hairdresser; maiden name, White) Carter. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Edinburgh, M.A., 2000. Politics: Progressive. Religion: "Agnostic." Hobbies and other interests: Egyptian dance, trapeze, knitting, book-making, pottery, karate.

ADDRESSES: Home—2077 60th St., No. 1F, Brooklyn, NY 11204. Office—Hanging Loose Press, 231 Wyckoff St., Brooklyn, NY 11217. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Editor. Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, NY, editorial associate, 2000–. Philmark Lithographics, assistant, 2001–.


(Editor) Word Jig: New Fiction from Scotland, Hanging Loose Press (Brooklyn, NY), 2003.

Editor, Groundswell, 2000.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Wonder Wheel, a novel.

SIDELIGHTS: Marie Carter told CA: "I can't explain what motivates me to write. One of my earliest memories comes from when I was four years old. I hadn't learned to read or write at that point, but I really loved to hear stories being told. I would bug my mother every night for a bedtime story. I remember I had bought a brightly colored notebook and I wanted to write a story in it, except I didn't know how to write. Instead I pretended I could and spoke the story out loud while making squiggles in my notebook.

"I grew up in a household almost empty of books, but my mother said from a very young age I was fixated by any book I could get my hands on. Reading and writing are activities that, as far as I can tell, I have just loved since I was born.

"I gave up writing during my high school years for various reasons, and then I started working for Chapman magazine while I was at university. Being among writers and all that good writing made me want to write again. I also read Ali Smith's collection of short stories and was very attracted to and influenced by the style. It was very simple, yet full of depth, and the voice in her stories was very compassionate. She remains one of my favorite short-story writers to the present day.

"When I was twenty-two years old, I moved from Scotland to New York. I now work for a small literary publisher called Hanging Loose Press. It seemed a very natural thing for me to edit an anthology of Scottish fiction. While I adore and am very much influenced by the writing that I'm reading in New York, I was homesick for the writers who became important to me in Scotland. Their lack of presence on the best-seller shelves in New York was evident, and I wanted to make Scottish writing more visible to the American readership.

"Editing an anthology takes a lot of energy and work. After working on Word Jig: New Fiction from Scotland, I decided to focus on my own novel. I am currently working on The Wonder Wheel, which is essentially a family history told over a period of time. Most of the novel is told from the perspective of Robin, a sculptor in the present day who moves from Edinburgh to Coney Island in Brooklyn. At the beginning of the novel Robin's mother commits suicide, and the sense is that Robin doesn't know much of her family history. When the family history is presented in the novel, it becomes clear that Robin has much more in common with her family than she would have thought. Her great-grandmother is the Tallest Woman in the World on Coney Island, and her grandmother is a fire-eater. The novel progresses with Robin falling in love and moving around the United States with a trapeze artist.

"In the novel I really wanted to explore the myth of the family and also that of immigration and its effects on the family. I'm very interested in the circus, particularly how it has changed over the years to modern-day innovations and experimentation with the circus such as Cirque de Soleil, Cirque Eloize, and Cirque Plume."



Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003, review of Word Jig: New Fiction from Scotland, p. 819.

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