Julia and the Bazooka
This Edition: American First Edition
Alfred A. Knopf
Originally published 1970
Peter Owen Limited
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:|
Here are fifteen startling stories that reflect the weird, thrilling realm into which this brilliant English writer's dangerous life and powerful artistic drive propelled her - thirty years of seesawing stability and chaos: constant drug addiction, suicide attempts, productive work in painting and editing, two marriages and a son, long sojourns in mental hospitals, widely admired novels and short stories.
Her stories penetrate the black holes of human consciousness and perception, a region of hypnotic games and seductive hallucinations where everything is animate, where the vertiginous panic and tough pride of the outcast merge with a tender, tranquil appeal to what is beautiful and lasting.
"Suddently I notice" - this is the territory of Anna Kavan's stories, moments of extreme feeling or revelation captured mid-flight and projected with an amazing psychological precision and a blunt beauty that lures us in to enter and follow. These are stories that shock, that compel assent, that hover in the mind.
- A young woman, mesmerized by speeding in high-powered cards with her lover, enters the fearless nomadic, "elegant" world of race-car drivers. She is co-driver, passenger, mascot.....
- An eccentric painter, living alone on the outskirts of a jungle, hallucinates a leopard who comes to her each night, smelling of sunshine, freedom, crushed leaves.....
- A brilliant doctor and his mistress plan compulsively for the Mercedes they will buy and escape in, until a call from his wife lures them out to the street, to the bizarre culmination of their game....
- A woman, driving through the dreadful fog, is seized with a vision of faces like Japanese dragon-masks, bodies like dummies stuffed with clothes - and slides into consciousness in the office of an inspector accusing her of homicide....
- The ghost of an old lover occupies a woman completely, waylaying her in tree-lined squares, subway stations, libraries, shops, waiting for her in other countries, in hotels and clinics....
- And in the title story, "Julia is a little girl with long straight hair..... Julia is also a quiet schoolgirl who does not make many friends..... Julia is also a young bride in a white dress, holding a sheaf of roses in one hand and in the other a very small flat white satin bag containing a lace-edged handkerchief scented with Arpege and a plastic syringe....."
Stories in this Edition:
. The Old Address
. A Visit
. World of Heroes
. The Mercedes
. Out and Away
. Now and Then
. High in the Mountains
. Among the Lost Things
. The Zebra-Struck
. A Town Garden
. Julia and the Bazooka