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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, Doris Lessing and bath plugs

blogPost, 26/05/2007

Anna who? Hmm is it just me again? Anna Kavan nee Helen Woods, then Ferguson, born in Cannes probably in 1901, two divorces, nervous breakdowns, heroin addiction, name changes.

Love & Loss: Stories of the Heart

book, 1993

The works of Jane Bowles, Edith Wharton, Rebecca West, and other distinctive voices of the 20th century are gathered here for the first time in a collection of 18 variously lyrical, piquant and bold stories which explore women's lives and loves, embracing moments daring and commonplace, public and private.

Anna Kavan - De Quincey's heir, Kafka's sister

blogPost, 07/12/2009

Anna Kavan (April 10, 1901—1968; born Helen Emily Woods) was a British novelist, short story writer and painter.

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 ?

Doris Lessing reviews new Anna Kavan bio

blogPost, 17/08/2006

A new biography of Anna Kavan, A Stranger on Earth, by that pest Jeremy Reed is reviewed by Doris Lessing here: Independent Online Edition > Reviews. I call Jeremy Reed a pest because he has managed to write either Fiction or Non-Fiction on nearly ever fun subject. Every time I turn around to see what's been written about Rimbaud or Artaud, there's that damn Jeremy Reed. And now he has this biography coming out on my favorite fiction writer, Anna Kavan. Underappreciated she is, but then again you might easily believe that this is the way she would have wanted it. Her work has often been compared to Doris Lessing, so her thoughts on the subject are relevant:

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.

Time Bites

book, 2004

Towards the end of this long life, Goethe said that he had only just learned how to read. In this collection of the very best of Doris Lessing's essays - never before published in book form - we are treated to the wisdom and keen insight of a writer who has herself learned, over the course of a long, rich, life, to read the world differently.

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.

Ice by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 09/11/2011

Ice by Anna Kavan was 70% off, I do not know the writer, but after reading Doris Lessing’s comment, I carted it off with the rest of the titles for purchase. The eerie and strangeness of the story seems an exciting read. I am intrigued how a heroine addict writes one of slipstream’s most significant novel.

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.

Mercury by Anna Kavan

blogPost, 06/07/2012

I thought from what was said about Anna Kavan's Mercury that it would be litfic uncomfortably fitted into the fantasy genre. This was largely confirmed when I saw that Doris Lessing had written the foreword, and what she had said about the book. Litfic and I seem to have an uneasy relationship. I generally don't like it, I'm getting the feeling I must be some sort of literary philistine.

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.

Found Guilty: Anna Kavan's latest novel

newspaperArticle, 28/06/2007

A lost manuscript of a novel by the British writer Anna Kavan - which turned up at the University of Tulsa of all places - will be published next week. I, for one, am deliriously happy about the publication of Guilty, since Anna Kavan, who died in 1968, is one our greatest and most original novelists.

Anna Kavan

blogPost, 31/05/2007

I can only apologize for being so distracted by bath plugs the last time I mentioned Anna Kavan.It can't have been helpful so now I plan to dedicate myself to the cause of Anna and ensure you all know about her without any deviation,hesitation or repetition whatsoever