Does Anna repeat herself ?

over again


blogPost, 29/08/2014

This is the first time I’ve read an Anna Kavan novel, which, given the brief biography on the book’s rear, seems amazing: a heroin addict for most of her adult life; time spent in mental asylums; changed her name to that of one of her characters. How the hell did I miss her?

Anna Kavan, Julia and the Bazooka

blogPost, 4/10/2010

The thing about trying to record quotes from Anna Kavan is that everything she writes reads this way — splendid, icy, nightmarish — and so that these are merely a random selection from a vast pool.

Anna Kavan


It has been said that Anna Kavan wrote in a mirror. The body of work left by the now obscure British modernist represented a constant inquiry into her own identity, and the invention of a personal mythology—or demonology, as it would become later in her career.

The Case of Anna Kavan’ by David Callard

magazineArticle, 25/02/1993

During the war Anna Kavan worked for nearly two years at the offices of Horizon. ‘Understandably, Connolly was never comfortable with Kavan,’ Michael Sheldon wrote in Friends of Promise, his book about Connolly.

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.

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

book, 2006


Guilty by Anna Kavan

webpage, 20/04/2007

Rhys Davies, one of Anna Kavan’s few close friends, wrote an introduction for Julia and the Bazooka (1970), a posthumous collection of her stories linked by their common allusion to her heroin habit.

Julia and the Bazooka

blogPost, 17/09/2009

Anna Kavan is the author of Ice, a surreal sci-fi masterpiece about a woman and two barely distinguishable sadistic men, one who has enslaved her, and one who wishes to. The world is slowly turning to ice. She has the incredibly smooth and detached voice of mid-century English fiction, flawlessly written and absolutely clear, like Somerset Maugham or Graham Greene. The subject is always herself. This is what links her early realist work to her later surreal stuff. Anna Kavan (it is a nom de plume, taken from the protagonist of an early novel) was a lifelong heroin addict. She was suicidal. She called her syringe her bazooka. Hence the title of her last collection of short stories, Julia and the Bazooka.

Neige, Anna Kavan

blogPost, 15/11/2013

Nous sommes tellement habitués à lire des histoires à la narration linéaire et logique que notre première réaction face à quelqu'un qui ne respecte pas ce genre de conventions peut être l'indignation, la frustration, voire le rejet. C'est peut-être pour cela que Neige d'Anna Kavan, ayant pourtant déjà été édité en français avant que Cambourakis ne décide de le publier, n'est pas resté dans nos mémoires (francophones). Et c'est bien dommage…

What's the Story: Reading Anna Kavan's Ice


Anna Kavan's Ice is a novel of relentless, evanescent beauty that depicts a world in which two explicitly linked forms of violence dominate and inexorably and insanely destroy it. First published in 1967, on the eve of the second wave of feminism, Ice has never been regarded as a significant work of proto-feminist literature, although scholars occasionally include it on lists of sf by women written before the major works of feminist sf burst onto the scene in the 1970s.

The Strange Case of AK

blogPost, 03/07/2007

The first blog entry I ever wrote had something to do with Anna Kavan; I think I was reading her book "Let Me Alone" at the time. I've just finished George Saunder's "In Persuasion Nation" -- funny, cynical, nasty, and ultimately touching -- and tonight, waiting anxiously for a thunderstorm that is taking its own sweet time arriving, I'm following it up with Kavan's "Mercury."

Doom & Gloom From Anna Kavan

blogPost, 19/08/2006

In an effort to depress myself, I'm reading another one of Anna Kavan's early books: "Change the Name" from 1941, written before she really DID change her name from "Helen Ferguson" to "Anna Kavan." (Anna's sad childhood, depression, heroin addiction, and coping methods are fascinating reading...get her biography if you can).

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.

The case of Anna Kavan: a biography

book, 1992


Reality had always been something of an unknown quantity to me

blogPost, 06/08/2007

Anna Kavan was the pen-name of Helen Woods (1901-68), a British writer and artist (her self-portrait can be seen here). By all accounts she was a deeply damaged individual: prone to mental illness and a lifelong heroin addict, she attempted suicide several times in the course of her life.

Portrait of the Artist as the Books He’s Loved

blogPost, 11/10/2011

My first encounter with Anna Kavan came via an image found trawling through a friend’s flicker page. There is a lovely group of really wonderful women I have met online via my obsession with the 60s & 70s films of the fantastique, and “Oola” is one acquaintance I was particularly bewitched by. She seemed to have impeccable taste and a wonderfully exciting life (from what I could see of it online), so the combination of my experience with the owner of the book and the cover of the book itself, I immediately requested the book from inter-library-loan (at the time, Kavan’s Julia and the Bazooka was out of print).

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.

Anna Kavan

forumPost, 19/03/14

Je viens d' apprendre - et c' est aussi pour cela que j' ai décidé de lui faire une place ici- que le merveilleux éditeur Cambourakis, spécialiste des rééditions qui s' imposent ou encore de livres vraiment originaux, était en train de la rééditer. Qu' il soit ici remercié !

AK (bis) / Obsessionnel.

blogPost, 04/07/2012

Les six pages signées Anna Kavan sortent de nulle part. Aucune trace dans les recueils traduits ou les rares articles consacrés à l'écrivaine anglaise, à peine connue de quelques lecteurs français, les moindres n'étant pas Viviane Forrester, Claire Malroux ou Christine Jordis, talentueuses passeuses.

Anna Kavan's New Zealand: a Pacific interlude in a turbulent life

book, 2009

New Zealanders live 'in temporary shacks, uneasily, as reluctant campers too far from home', wrote Anna Kavan in a London magazine in 1943. Her seemingly negative comments created a stir both in the UK and New Zealand and suggested Kavan felt nothing but antipathy for the country. However, in researching this prize-winning author of nineteen books, Dr Jennifer Sturm uncovered letters and unpublished short stories written during Kavan's sojourn in New Zealand that show a more complex, affectionate and significant response. Those stories are published here for the first time, along with a fascinating discussion of this experimental writer and talented artist, who struggled with bouts of depression and insecurity, as well as heroin addiction and a stream of unconventional love affairs. Kavan roamed the world trying to find a home, and although her stay in New Zealand was for less than two years, her stories reveal a country where she found temporary peace, a country she captures in a warm and astute gaze. This book provides an intriguing insight, not only into the life and writing of Anna Kavan but also New Zealand of the 1940s.

Book Review: Ice, Anna Kavan (1967)

blogPost, 01/02/2015

Anna Kavan’s masterful post-apocalyptical novel Ice (1967) parallels the death throws of a relationship with the disintegration of the world. As the unnamed narrator (N) and the girl (G) traverse an indistinct, interchangeable, world transformed by glacial encroachment, only the same movements are possible: flight, pursuit, flight, pursuit… Repetition reinforces the profoundly unnerving feel of both physical and mental imprisonment: as movements are predicted, trauma is repeated.