Anna Kavan (1901–1968), born Helen Emily Woods, was a British writer and painter. She attended the London Central School of Arts and Crafts during the 1920s, which was also the period in which her heroin use, which continued intermittently until her death, began. In 1940, she began publishing under “Anna Kavan,” the name of one of her fictional characters. During this period her writing became darker and more experimental, and her first collection of stories, Asylum Piece, was well received. She went on to work as a secretary at the literary journal Horizon, where she also contributed stories, articles, and reviews. She became reclusive, struggling with poor health and difficulty in publishing, until 1967, when her best-known novel Ice was published. Kavan died of heart failure the following year.