Described by Brian Aldiss as 'De Quincey's heir and Kafka s sister', junkie, depressive, radical, enigma, cult figure, genre-bending experimental writer and artist - few women writers have gathered the same air of mystique, so often the preserve of male counterculture figures, as Helen Woods, more commonly known by her adopted pen name and persona: Anna Kavan.
This collection of Anna Kavan's short fiction and journalism marks fifty years since her death in 1968. From moving portraits of clinical depression to phantasmagoric visions of sci-fi wonder - including the previously unpublished story 'Starting a Career' - the writings collected in Machines in the Head offer an accessible introduction to readers new to her work and a timely survey of Kavan's diverse writing talents for her fans. Her journalism, giving insight into her radical politics and her thoughts on writing and writers, is reproduced in full.
Although Kavan is better known as a writer than an artist, she painted throughout her life; several of her distinctive paintings will be included in this collection to illustrate her stories.