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A stranger on Earth: the life and work of Anna Kavan

book, 2006

Outside the asylum of her mind

newspaperArticle, 25/06/2006

Since we often hear complaints about the puerile state of current publishing, it is as well to remind oneself that exceptional work has often had a hard time of it in Britain. Henry James struggled to sell his greatest novels. James Joyce was published in Paris. Ronald Firbank paid for his own publication. D H Lawrence was reviled. But because literature is about extending reality, not repeating it, there is some law of creativity which guarantees that the exceptional is what survives. So perhaps it is no wonder that the esoteric and beautiful writing of Anna Kavan refuses to go away - but it has been a near thing.

Literary Heroines to Love: Anna Kavan

magazineArticle, 07/122008

This week is the fortieth anniversary of Anna Kavan’s death. Although these days she remains largely unmentioned by the mainstream media, without her the modern literary landscape that we know and love would be much more barren. Canonised female authors from Anais Nin to Virginia Woolf owe much of their experimental style and strength of voice to Anna Kavan.

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.

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.

Anna Kavan – a unique modernist vision

blogPost, 2013

It’s not quite correct to say that Anna Kavan has been forgotten. Her books are kept in print out of sheer dedication by her publisher, Peter Owen. My colleague at the University of East Anglia, Karen Schaller, teaches her novel Ice on her course Fiction After Modernism. And a recent paean to this same novel appeared in the Guardian.

‘Senin’ okumanı istediklerimden : ANNA KAVAN , Buz.

blogPost, 2009

(Helen Woods), 1901′de bir İngiliz ailesinin çocuğu olarak Fransa, Cannes’da doğdu. Zengin bir baba ile çocuğunu hem ezen hem de inkâr eden bir annenin kızıydı. 14 yaşındayken, babası ona “hayat boyu yalnızlık” bırakarak öldü. Kavan’ın müreffeh ama sevgisiz çocukluğu Avrupa ve California’da geçti. Yazmaya ilk kocası Donald Ferguson’la birlikte yaşadığı Burma’da (şimdiki Birmanya) başladı. Anna Kavan adını “Women’s Liberation için öncü bir çaba” olarak nitelenen Beni Rahat Bırak romanının kadın kahramanından aldı. Kavan, kahramanın nefret ettiği ve küçümsediği kocasının soyadıydı.

The Parson - Anna Kavan

blogPost, 05/11/2007

I picked up another of Anna Kavan's remarkable novels, The Parson, one of the last of her books to be published and this one post humously after the discovery of the manuscript in amongst Anna Kavan's papers at the McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa.

Sunday Confessions

blogPost, 03/06/2007

I now shamelessly beg from Peter Owen.Honestly what has happened to me? They took instant pity and came up with a lighteningly quick copy of A Stranger on Earth, The Life and Work of Anna Kavan by Jeremy Reed to help fuel my Anna Kavan-fest.

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:

Unveiling Anna Kavan

webpage,

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.