Anna Kavan’s Ice was originally published in 1967 by Peter Owen books. The book is Kavan’s final and best known work, and appeared just one year before her death. In the aftermath of a nuclear war, society is rapidly crumbling as a wall of ice threatens to engulf the entire planet. Our unnamed narrator roams through this barren, frozen wasteland in pursuit of a young girl with a halo of hair as bright as spun glass; his designs on her are decidedly sinister. The novel proceeds with the torturous, cyclical quality of an inescapable nightmare in which the reader is cocooned.
Over the course of the episode, we discuss the extent to which Kavan's heroin addiction influenced the novel, consider the novels place in the tradition of post-apocalyptic fiction, and explore the unique brutality of the novel's narrator.
A Stranger on Earth: The Life and Work of Anna Kavan (2006) by Jeremy Reed (Peter Owen)
'The Fiction of Anna Kavan' by Victoria Walker (PhD Thesis, 2012) https://qmro.qmul.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/123456789/8627
The Drowned World (1962) by J. G. Ballard