Anna Kavan’s early fiction was rather inconsequential and excited little critical notice. Once she shifted emphasis and themes during the early 1940’s, reviewers began to notice her work, though not always favorably. In 1947, for example, Diana Trilling castigated The House of Sleep unmercifully, insisting that “nothing makes it worth reading.” Alice S. Morris, however, writing at the same time as Trilling, described Kavan as “acutely perceptive and a brilliantly disturbing writer.” Since that time, Kavan’s reputation has grown steadily. The depictions of power, unreality, madness, and isolated, abused women in her works, as well as her experiments innarrative structure, place her in the first rank among the lesser novelists of the twentieth century. Feminists have been particularly interested in Kavan, although critical study of her work is still minimal.