Ice

      Anna Kavan
Ice

A dazzling and haunting vision of the end of the world, Ice is a masterpiece of literary science fiction now in a new 50th anniversary edition with a foreword by Jonathan Lethem.

In a frozen, apocalyptic landscape, destruction abounds: great walls of ice overrun the world and secretive governments vie for control. Against this surreal, yet eerily familiar broken world, an unnamed narrator embarks on a hallucinatory quest for a strange and elusive "glass-girl" with silver hair. He crosses icy seas and frozen plains, searching ruined towns and ransacked rooms, all to free her from the grips of a tyrant known only as the warden and save her before the ice closes all around. A novel unlike any other, Ice is at once a dystopian adventure shattering the conventions of science fiction, a prescient warning of climate change and totalitarianism, a feminist exploration of violence and trauma, a Kafkaesque literary dreamscape, and a brilliant allegory...
Read online

    Let Me Alone

      Anna Kavan
Let Me Alone

The mother of ‘Anna’ in this novel dies in childbirth and she brought up by her father and a governess, in a remote Pyrenean village. When she is thirteen, her father shoots himself and she Is adopted by a rich, beautiful and ruthless aunt who stows her in a boarding school. She forms friendships at the school but her freedom is abruptly curtailed when the aunt forces her into a loveless marriage: she comes to detest her husband and bourgeois family but cannot break away and finds herself marooned with him in Burma, where the story climaxes.
Read online

    Sleep Has His House

      Anna Kavan
Sleep Has His House

A classic later novel by Anna Kavan.

A largely autobiographical account of an unhappy childhood, this daring synthesis of memoir and surrealist experimentation chronicles the subject's gradual withdrawal from the daylight world of received reality. Brief flashes of daily experience from childhood, adolescence, and youth are described in what is defined as "nighttime language"—a heightened, decorative prose that frees these events from their gloomy associations.

The novel suggests we have all spoken this dialect in childhood and in our dreams, but these thoughts can only be sharpened or decoded by contemplation in the dark. Revealing that side of life which is never seen by the waking eye but which dreams and drugs can suddenly emphasize, this startling discovery illustrates how these nighttime illuminations reveal the narrator's joy for the living world.

Read online

    Guilty: The Lost Classic Novel

      Anna Kavan
Guilty: The Lost Classic Novel

Set in an unspecified but eerily familiar time and landscape, this is the story of Mark, a protagonist who struggles against the machinations of a hostile society and bureaucracy. Suffering at first from the persecution of his father as a conscientious objector, his life quickly comes under the control of the Machiavellian Mr. Spector, an influential government minister who arranges Mark’s education, later employment, and even accommodation. It is when Mark tries to break free from Spector’s influence that his life begins to unravel.
Read online