Anna Kavan (1901-1968) was a British writer and artist. She published six novels under her married name Helen Ferguson between 1929 and 1937; in 1940 she began publishing under the name Anna Kavan (one of her previous fictional characters) and later took the name as her own. Her writing was often innovative and experimental, influenced by her severe depression and long-term heroin addiction. Other significant writers including Brian Aldiss, J.G.Ballard, Doris Lessing, Anaïs Nin and Jean Rhys have admired Anna Kavan's distinctive style, and she continues to inspire readers, writers and artists today.
New Study of Anna Kavan's Writing
A new academic book on Anna Kavan's writing has been published by Edinburgh University Press. Anna Kavan: Mid-Century Experimental Fiction reads Kavan comparatively alongside her contemporaries, especially Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Bowen, Muriel Spark and Doris Lessing and includes chapters on her early Helen Ferguson texts, her writing of asylum incarceration, her wartime stories and her postwar novels including Ice.