Guilty by Anna Kavan / ISBN 9780720612875 / paperback from Peter Owen (UK)
Set in an unspecified but eerily familiar time and landscape, this is the story of Mark, a protagonist who struggles against the machinations of a hostile society and bureaucracy. Suffering at first from the persecution of his father as a conscientious objector, his life quickly comes under the control of the Machiavellian Mr. Spector, an influential government minister who arranges Mark's education, later employment, and even accommodation. It is when Mark tries to break free from Spector's influence that his life begins to unravel.
Anna Kavan was one of the greatest unsung enigmas in 20th-century British literature. Born Helen Ferguson, a fraught childhood and two failed marriages led her to change her name to that of one of her characters. Despite struggling with mental illness and heroin addiction for most of her life, she was still able to write fiction that was as powerful and memorable as any English female writer of the last 150 years.