The Unmapped Country: Stories & Fragments by Ann Quin – review

The adventurous spirit of a cult author from the 1960s animates tales of sex and psychiatry

Reduced to an anomalous footnote in British literary history – a female, working-class, avant-garde author – Ann Quin is all too often taken as read. Yet her work is as open-ended as those sentences she regularly produced that trail off into silence, casting a spell instead of spelling out; floating away on their reserve of potentiality. As open-ended, indeed, as her life, which she took at the age of 37, swimming out to sea off Brighton’s Palace Pier in 1973. She left behind four novels – including her celebrated debut, Berg (1964) – along with scores of short-form pieces, some which now appear in a thrilling new collection of miscellanea.

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