Anna Kavan

I Am Lazarus

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First published in 1945, the stories collected under the title I Am Lazarus are a brilliant summation of the war experiences of Anna Kavan in Blitz-era London, working among invalided soldiers at a 'military neurosis centre' in Mill Hill. Kavan's view of the capital and some of its war victims in this momentous era are typically original and oblique: 'Lazarus' is a patient revived from catatonia who somehow remains institutionalized; the Blitz spirit is coolly stripped of cheeriness and never-say-die in 'Glorious Boys and 'Our City'; there is a Hithcockian horror story in 'The Gannets', while in 'Who Has Desired The Sea' and 'The Blackout' the 'shell-shocked' have ultimately only seen war exacerbate old, long-suppressed psychological wounds. Chilling but compassionate classics, the I Am Lazarus collection, republished now after many years, are essential documents of the time – and of Anna Kavan.
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199 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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