« war writer »

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 However, in researching this prize-winning author of nineteen books, Dr Jennifer Sturm uncovered letters and unpublished short stories written during Kavan's sojourn in New Zealand that show a more complex, affectionate and significant response.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.

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.

Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of Horizon:

book, 2009

This original book gives a revealing picture of the extraordinarily talented group of men and women who produced Horizon, the foremost literary review of the 1940s. Published monthly in Bloomsbury, Horizon was a cultural beacon during the dark days of the Second World War; it was brilliantly eclectic and fiercely independent. Its principal editor, Cyril Connolly, regarded the pleasures of life and art as inseparable, cultivating his love of literature with the same intensity that characterized his love of good food and fine wine, and beautiful women.