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Anna Kavan (1901–1968)

Autor(a) de Ice

28+ Works 2,402 Membros 71 Reviews 19 Favorited

About the Author

Obras de Anna Kavan

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women (1995) — Contribuinte — 166 cópias
Wave Me Goodbye: Stories of the Second World War (1988) — Contribuinte — 83 cópias
The Folio Science Fiction Anthology (2016) — Contribuinte — 38 cópias
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contribuinte — 34 cópias
Stories for the Dead of Night (1957) — Contribuinte — 28 cópias
Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds (2011) — Contribuinte — 10 cópias
A book of shorter stories (1962) — Contribuinte — 6 cópias
Babysæsonen : en antologi (1974) — Autor, algumas edições6 cópias
Little reviews anthology — Contribuinte, algumas edições1 exemplar(es)


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Woods, Helen Emily (geboren)
Ferguson, Helen (gehuwd)
Edmonds, Helen (gehuwd)
Outros nomes
Kavan, Anna
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Cannes, France
Local de falecimento
London, England, UK
Causa da morte
heart failure
Locais de residência
Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
London, England
Napier, New Zealand
London Central School of Arts and Crafts
Parsons Mead School, Ashstead, England, UK
Malvern College, Malvern, Worcestershire, England, UK
short story writer
Bluth, Karl Theodor (friend, collaborator)
Davies, Rhys (friend)
Pequena biografia
Anna Kavan was born Helen Emily Woods in Cannes, France to wealthy British parents. She spent her childhood in Europe, the UK, and the USA. At age 17, she married Donald Ferguson, with whom she had a son, and accompanied him for his work to Burma, where she began writing. Her early works were published under her first married name, Helen Ferguson. She remarried in 1931 to Stuart Edmonds, an artist, and lived in England, Europe, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand before settling in London. She became a heroin addict and used amphetamines, spent two long periods in mental hospitals, and attempted suicide at least three times. In 1939, she moved to New York and legally changed her name to Anna Kavan, taken from a character in her novels Let Me Alone (1930) and A Stranger Still (1935). She became an acclaimed writer and painter and a successful interior decorator. During the early part of World War II, she worked for a military psychiatric unit, and after returning to England in 1943, she was an editorial assistant for Horizon, which published some of her short stories and book reviews. She also worked as an assistant to the magazine's editor, Cyril Connolly. In 1950, she established the architecture and design firm Kavan Properties, and during the 1960s, bought and renovated old houses in London. Anaïs Nin, in her poetic literary study The Novel of the Future (1968), praised Anna Kavan for her "nocturnal writing" alongside Djuna Barnes, John Hawkes, and others. The novel Ice (1967) is generally considered Kavan's masterpiece. Several volumes of her work were published posthumously. Anna Kavan's friend, writer Rhys Davies, based his novel The Honeysuckle Girl (1975) on her early life.



Sleep Has His House is closer to a work of art than a novel. Not necessarily in the meaning of greatness (although it is very impressive) but rather in that concept and artistry supersede plot and storytelling. It is a book suffused with a sense of being autobiographical, about a young girl called B who we suppose is Kavan herself as a child.

Each chapter consists of two parts - a dichotomy between reality and B's inner world. The italicised beginnings are quite matter-of-fact and brief synopses of particularly significant events in B's life. They are followed by burgeoning, vivid interpretations of these events in a surreal and exaggerated realm. Kavan's writing comes into its own in these second parts: her imagination and use of language to illustrate the subconscious responses are masterful and it is remarkable how current and accessible the writing feels despite being written in 1947. In particular, Kavan expertly takes idyllic scenes and slowly degrades then into their exact opposites (or vice versa) - evoking dark, haunting imagery that leaves you sorrowed by the experiences B/Kavan had to face so young.

I think this was a good place to begin my reading of Kavan - it was a great advert of her talents and I'm really interested to see how they translate to a more traditional narrative. For lovers of descriptive, well-considered prose I heartily recommend Sleep Has His House. For those that prefer a stronger narrative element, perhaps her other novels are a better place to start. It also brought to mind 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath and the work of Janet Frame - so if you are fans of those, I predict Kavan will be up your street too. 4/5
… (mais)
Dzaowan | outras 4 resenhas | Feb 15, 2024 |
I didn't know anything about [Ice] before opening its cover and diving it. It is surreal - like an arctic fever dream and yet also has a sort of spy story feel to it. The writing style reminded me of Italo Calvino's [Invisible Cities]. The storyline seems to weave back upon itself, and the same scenario keeps repeating but with differing evolutions. The world is a dystopian one where ice is slowly encasing the planet, and I did love the numerous different ways that Kavan describes the all encompassing cold. But the cold also permeates her characters - I didn't like anyone in this novel, and didn't much enjoy the story, but I kept reading because I wanted to know where it was going. And just when I got to the final pages, and I thought I knew where she was going with it all, and I thought it was brilliant...she didn't go there. So disappointing. And slightly maddening.

"Instead of my world, there would soon be only ice, snow, stillness, death; no more violence, no war, no victims; nothing but frozen silence, absence of life. The ultimate achievement of mankind would be, not just self-destruction, but the destruction of all life; the transformation of the living world into a dead planet."

Originally published in 1967, Kavan's vision of climate change will speak to present day readers.
… (mais)
Crazymamie | outras 42 resenhas | Jan 28, 2024 |
I just really don't know if I loved this or if I hated it. Parts of it were so amazing and just sang to me but parts of it made me cringe and look away.

Either way, love or hate, it was beautifully written and so compelling. I guess after all is said and done, I did love it.
beentsy | outras 42 resenhas | Aug 12, 2023 |
Unbelievably tedious meanderings through the psychic geography of a junkie.
yarb | outras 42 resenhas | Aug 2, 2023 |



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