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About the Author

ANNA KAVAN (1901-1968), born Helen Woods, was a British novelist who emerged from a Swiss asylum in 1938 with a pen-name adopted from one of her fictional characters. Her early work dealt with oppressive domestic, relationships, but her work as Anna Kavan was openly more experimental the more it became an expression of her mental health and a life-long addiction to heroin. Now a cult figure, her writing, which includes the novels Sleep has his House, Asylum Piece and Ice, has been compared to Kafka, Woolf and Ballard.


'A classic, a vision of unremitting intensity which combines some remarkable imaginative writing with what amounts to a love-song to the end of the world. Not a word is wasted, not an image is out of place.' - Times Literary Supplement; 'Few contemporary novelists could match the intensity of her vision.' - J.G. Ballard; 'There is nothing else like it...This ice is not psychological ice or metaphysical ice; here the loneliness of childhood has been magicked into a physical reality as hallucinatory as the Ancient Mariner's.' - Doris Lessing; 'Ice is her best novel: a sustained and extended metaphor for the descent into, and traverse of, the ice-laden world of the addict ... a marvel of descriptive, chilling writing, rich in action and introspection.' - Christopher Priest;

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