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 Ellen Emily Woods, a fraught childhood and two failed marriages -she signed her first 6 books with her married name Helen Ferguson- 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 powerful fiction.
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.