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Kavan, Anna

(British, 1901–68)

Anna Kavan published her first novel, Let Me Alone (1930), under her married name of Helen Ferguson. An account of a disastrous and abusive relationship, the novel featured a character, based on herself, called Anna Kavan. Following a period in a psychiatric clinic, Kavan changed her name by deed poll. Her best-known novel, Sleep has His House (1947), is an account of a mind on the borderline between dream and reality, and as in much of Kavan's writing the book blurs the distinction between fiction and autobiography. Ice (1967) is a novel set in a strange, symbolic, ice-bound country, narrated by a woman who is never named. Often considered a metaphor for the writer's lifelong heroin addiction, Ice uses the conventions of science fiction to explore an inner world. I am Lazarus (1945) and Julia and the Bazooka (1970) are collections of stories.

Franz Kafka, J. G. Ballard, Janet Frame  WB

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)