The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington by Joanna Moorhead - review by Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson

Escape Artist

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington


Virago 296pp £20 order from our bookshop

Leonora Carrington’s inner life was a thing of wonder, but success of a worldly kind came very late to her. Having walked away from her wealthy, philistine Lancashire family when barely out of her teens, she spent most of her eventful life in genteel, and sometimes severe, poverty. Almost no one in her native country knew much about her – at best, she was mentioned as a minor player among the pioneer Surrealists. She only began to exhibit paintings, in her adopted home, Mexico, when she was in her forties.

Slowly, though, she became not simply well known but also well loved there. By the early 21st century, she was regarded as a Mexican national treasure. Even more slowly, her reputation finally began to blossom in the USA and the UK. Not long before she died, in 2011, at the

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

A Mirror - Westend

Follow Literary Review on Twitter