Fantasy & Sci-Fi
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.
Eagle’s Nest (1957) has been called Kavan’s most Kafkaesque work, further developing her concept of a “second secret existence,” a real world with an underworld percolating beneath.
The nameless narrator in this fantasy is potentially delusional, as in Ice, possibly having imagined the fantasy/nightmare world of the “Eagle’s Nest,” a fortress-like mansion with curious servants and a strange code
"A writer of such chillingly matter-of-fact, unself-pitying vigour that her vision transcends itself." - New Yorker "One of the finest examples of Anna Kavan's powers to explore the `nocturnal worlds of our dreams, fantasies, imagination and non-reason." - Anais Nin