- ISBN 978 0 7206 1328 5
- June 2009
Julia and the Bazooka
With a new foreword by Virginia Ironside
Anna Kavan now stands alongside Virginia Woolf as one of Britain's great twentieth-century modernists. This edition of Julia and the Bazooka marks the first paperback publication of this posthumous collection of Kavan's short stories. It contains some of her most compelling writing which owes much to her personal experiences – especially her nearly lifelong addiction to heroine. An important literary work, these stories highlight the shadowed world of the incurable drug addict and probe the psychological aspects of addiction.
'...in 1938 she emerged from the clinic, she wasn't cured but she was transformed. Throughout this terrible period she'd managed to publish six romantic novels as Helen Ferguson. Anna Kavan was the heroine of the autobiographical Let Me Alone (1930), and this was the name she then adopted, dyeing her hair blonde, projecting a persona of chic control. She also, remarkably, embarked on a series of fictions which place her firmly in the avant-garde... here was a poetic minilmalism, polished and eerie, that was more technically daring than anything written before by an Englishwoman, with the exception of Virginia Woolf. Reviewers were foxed but impressed and cast about for words like 'symbolism', 'surealism' and 'Kafka'... Her dominant themes are isolation and the pain involved in the search for love. Kavan's is a dangerous frightening world - you don't go there for laughs - but it is also tender and intellectual and immersed in a shimmering hush. She is one of england's few modern masters.' – Duncan Fallowell, Daily Telegraph
'One of the most mysterious of modern writers, Anna Kavan created a uniquely fascinating fictional world. Few contemporary novelists could match the intensity of her vision.' – J.G. Ballard
ANNA KAVAN (1901–1968) is one of the greatest unsung enigmas in twentieth-century British literature. Born Helen Woods, a fraught childhood and two failed marriages led her to change her name to that of one of her characters. Despite struggling with mental illness and heroin addiction for most of her life she was still able to write fiction that was as powerful and memorable as any female English female writer of the last 150 years.