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Unveiling Anna Kavan

webpage, None

Devotees of Anna Kavan may well be surprisedùand perhaps a little put offùthat Peter Owen Publishers has brought out another biography of the acclaimed and esoteric author (Asylum Piece, Sleep Has this House, Ice, and Mercury). However, Jeremy Reed's prying book, A Stranger on Earth, has unearthed original material that uncovers a whole lot about someone who went to great lengths to turn herself into an enigma for posterity.

Winter Is Coming: Ice by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 20/03/2012

From the outset it is obvious that Ice is a novel about obsession but it rapidly becomes clear that it is overwhelmingly about illness.

A Stranger on Earth by Jeremy Reed

newspaperArticle, 07/07/2006

On the cover is an old snap of Anna Kavan tinted to make her look like somebody she never could have been. Before colour photography, it was a profession: tinting photographs, flattering the sitter. If it was the novelist herself who agreed to this enhanced Anna, then the picture is probably a witness to another of her attempts to be just like everybody else, and that is painful.

Neige - Anna KAVAN

book, 16/3/2009

Un personnage dont on ne sait pas le nom cherche, dans un, puis un autre pays, jamais précisés, une fille qui le hante et dont une seule particularité est mise en relief : Sa chevelure (...), d'un blanc argenté, celle d'un albinos, étincelante comme le clair de lune... Parfois un troisième personnage se dresse entre le quêteur et l'objet de la quête ; on n'en connaît que la fonction : Gouverneur.

Play sheds new light on strange friendship of Rhys Davies and Anna Kavan

blogPost, 10/09/2013

The team behind the acclaimed play about David Lloyd George - The Wizard, The Goat and the Man Who Won the War - is to offer a new insight into the mysterious friendship between Valleys writer Rhys Davies and cult literary figure Anna Kavan.

Introducing Anna Kavan

magazineArticle, 24/02/2011

There’s an indispensable book called About Writing by Samuel R. Delany. In the first essay he cobbles together an eclectic list of authors that, ideally, the aspiring writer should read. Because Delany has read everything, you can bet his tastes are wide and varied. And it’s thanks to that book that I discovered Anna Kavan.

Anna Kavan, 'Julia and the Bazooka': a critique

blogPost, 15/12/2013

Writers such as Brian Aldiss and J.G. Ballard have praised the writings of Anna Kavan, but I find her work uneven – I couldn’t get beyond the first few pages of self-indulgent, rambling dream visions in Sleep Has His House, first published in 1948. Julia and the Bazooka is also uneven, but serves as a good introduction to the qualities (and weaknesses) of Kavan’s fiction.

Neige, d’Anna Kavan

blogPost, 20/11/2013

La britannique Anna Kavan fait partie des écrivains qui se sont forgé un personnage, un masque, une façade qui est devenue partie intégrante de leur œuvre – ce n’est pas pour rien si en 1939 elle fait rayer de l’État civil son nom de baptême pour adopter l’identité de l’un de ses personnages.

Livres de Noël : la Neige hallucinatoire d’Anna Kavan

blogPost, 06/12/2013

l’approche des fêtes, Lyon Capitale vous propose chaque jour jusqu’à Noël sa sélection dans les vitrines des libraires. Aujourd’hui, un roman d’Anna Kavan qui nous revient des années 1970.

The hallucination of one moment did not fit the reality of the next

blogPost, 06/03/2012

I’ve written before of how sometimes work, life generally, can wreck my reading of a book. A busy period, a week passes without a page turned, and suddenly a great book has become a chore. I don’t remember what’s going on or who the characters are or why the plot involves a chihuaha*. The book becomes staccato and dissolves into incoherence.

Review: Ice, Anna Kavan

blogPost, 28/06/2011

When I picked up this book, all I knew about it was that it was apocalyptic. I certainly didn’t realise that the apocalyptic scenario in fact plays out a sinister psychological dreamscape, where the boundaries between interior and exterior, real and imagined, hallucination and daydream, sadistic wish-fulfillment and physical injury, are utterly erased. That was a shock. But whilst Kavan’s Ice turned out to be far more disconcerting than I’d anticipated, it certainly wasn’t disappointing.

Anna Kavan : brilliant like ice

blogPost, 29/09/2011

Her descriptions burned so brightly when I first began reading the work of Anna Kavan that I felt a kinship with her almost at once. I have sometimes wandered past her last home in Peel Street, London, in pilgrimage. The novels and memoirs stand on my shelves: I came across Ice first, then Asylum Piece and My Madness, then Let me Alone, Julia and the Bazooka with its 1960s hip bohemianism, and Sleep Has His House.

Sleep Does Not Have His House: Anna Kavan

blogPost, 20/01/2007

A very rare bout of insomnia seems like the perfect time to discuss dreams. Well, I did sleep for a few hours and woke up after a particularly vivid dream. Which I will not describe.

Kafka's sister

magazineArticle, 31/07/2010

Fuelled by heroin and self-exploration, Anna Kavan's underground Kafka-esque novels penetrated the human psyche in a manner that distrubed even JG Ballard.

Anna Kavan

blogPost, 25/07/2010

whenever i discover an artist who has something to say that i want to hear, i’m firstly grateful for their work having found me & then i’m sort of shocked that it’s taken so long, & left wondering where they’ve been all my life. i just bought a brand new 2009 reprint of anna kavan‘s ‘julia & the bazooka‘ for 2.99 from a bookshop in waterloo.

Anna Kavan: The Best Kept Secret Of English Modernism

blogPost, 01/02/2014

We have dedicated this section of the website to the passing on of the good word of short story collections that we feel have been either been missed or forgotten about, for one reason or another, but that deserve and need to be read. The first one I’ve selected is Julia and the Bazooka by Anna Kavan. Anna who? Exactly.

Anna Kavan : Neige

blogPost, 15/01/2013

Ces derniers temps, j'ai eu la chance de ne lire que des bons livres mais, je dois bien avouer, rien d'aussi singulier et sublime que ce roman cauchemardesque aux réminiscences "ballardiennes" (le Ballard première période). J'ai découvert cette Anna Kavan, en perpétuelle dépression et morte le nez dans la neige (trop facile, pardonnez-moi !), chez Discipline in Disorder, where else ?

Anna Kavan

webpage, None

‘I was about to become the world’s best kept secret; one that would never be told. What a thrilling enigma for posterity I should be.’ Thus does one of Anna Kavan’s characters describe herself in an unpublished short story, and we know that, as in much of Kavan’s writing, she was describing herself. An enigma the author remains, but her talent was none the less remarkable, and her works have been compared to that of Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf and Franz Kafka and acclaimed by writers from Anaïs Nin to J.B. Ballard.

Mon âme en Chine - Anna KAVAN

encyclopediaArticle, 15/03/2005

Une femme rêve : Je suis seule dans un train, dans un compartiment de seconde classe ; au lieu de bagages, au lieu de cerveau, je porte une masse serrée de minuscules serpents gris dans mon crâne, (p. 14) De qui sont ces serpents ?

On Anna Kavan

blogPost, 09/12/2011

Anna Kavan, born Helen Ferguson in 1901 was a very English - and at the same time utterly alien - novelist whose own life took on the quality of an existential mystery. Praised by JG Ballard and Doris Lessing, drawing on Kafka and anticipating slipstream long before it became a genre in British writing, her novels described eerie states of dislocation; a lifelong heroin user, her prose has a needle-sharp precision but her subject matter was never drugs.