A BRIGHT GREEN FIELD - AND OTHER STORIES
Literary & General
Anna Kavan (1901–1968) is one of the greatest unsung enigmas in twentieth-century British literature. Born Helen Ferguson, 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 English female writer of the last 150 years.
The title story of the collection Bright Green Field (1958) moves towards the science fiction of Ice, except here it’s grass that’s the natural force threatening to obliterate humanity—in a “great green grave.” The collection also contains the disturbing “Annunciation,” about a young girl whose rich, controlling grandmother hides her from the world after her first menstruation, and the beautiful, tragic “Happy Name,” in which an old woman returns in a dream to the large Victorian home of her childhood, which she enters through a picture in her nursinghome room.