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Here are subversive tales - by Ama Ata Aidoo, Djuna Barnes, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid and Katherine Mansfield among others - all with one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as role models for all women. Elizabeth Jolley celebrates that rare phenomenon, the female confidence trickster and in Leonora Carrington's beautifully surreal tale, a hyena is persuaded by a debutante to take her place at the ball - and go dressed to kill. Reflecting the wide-ranging intelligence and deliciously anarchic taste of Angela Carter, some of these stories celebrate toughness and resilience, some of them low cunning: all of them are about not being nice.