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What is the function of a fantastic image in a novel? Why do writers switch into the fantastic mode? Does a webbed feet heroine imply subversion? Can a winged woman be a certain signifier? This book sets out from the premise that the literary fantastic in women's writing can be a gender-bending tool and subvert patriarchal gender roles. Thus, it investigates the function of the fantastic elements in the novels of Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson. The book shows that through an efficient use of the fantastic mode, both Carter and Winterson successfully negate culturally dominant notions of reality in their novels, whereby they resist the cultural constructions of gender. The close analysis of the four novels presented in separate chapters identifies each fantastic image with its possible cultural and political implications so that the "un-seen" of the culture can be seen clearly. Focusing on the subversive nature of the fantastic images in Carter's and Winterson's novels, this book shows how women writers can transcend traditional gender boundaries.