Anais was born in Neuilly, just outside Paris. She spent her childhood in various parts of Europe until, when she was eleven, her father, Spanish composer Joaquin Nin, abandoned his family. In the same year, her French-Danish mother, Rosa Culmell, took Anais and her two sons to New York. On the boat that brought Anais away from Europe and from her father she began to write her journals. In 1923 she married Hugo Guiler, who had studied literature and economics and had acquired a good position in an international bank, allowing them to live comfortably.
The couple moved to Paris in 1924. There they lived in various appartments, among them a beautiful house in Louveciennes, but Anais also often had a studio for herself and lived in a houseboat on the Seine for a while. In Paris she and Hugo supported various avant-garde artists, among them Henry Miller with whom Anais started an affair and exchanged hundreds of letters. The book A literary passion includes a great number of the letters these two artists exchanged over the years and provide an interesting documentary of their struggle for recognition as writers as well as their relationship.
Anais moved back to New York just before the outbreak of World War II. After a turbulent time in New York she divided her life between New York and Los Angeles, between Hugo and Rupert, a much younger lover and friend. From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anais later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of novels and a prose poem in surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception.
In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.
If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness.
For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation. -Anais Nin
Oh, I never realised how CUTE she was. It's quite funny to think of some of her writing (the erotica) coming out of such an adorable lady.
Yes, it's quite paradoxal, indeed...
I discovered all her writings when I was about 16 years old and it was really a thrilling experience for me... Thanks to those readings, I have been able to realise and understand how challenging it was to be a woman in our society...
I also loved her diaries and the unexpurged one entitled Incest ... She was a very complex woman, fascinating IMO...
My favorite book of hers is A Spy in the house of Love.
I would advice to you all an excellent biography of Anais Nin, writter by Deirdre Bair which explains very well certains aspects of her personality.
I'm reading A Spy in the House of Love now! It was strange because I had to get it on special order as none of the bookshops near me had any of her books and then I went to the op shop next door and found a book with her lectures and interviews for $2.
In terms of fashion, she describes her characters style so beautifully I sort of wish there were illustrations
I discovered her when i was very young,i secretly saw the movie Henry&June when i was 10,and despite or because of my parents not allowing me to watch movies like that,it made it more appealing so i did.It had a huge impact on me,i never forgot ceirtan scenes(no,not those),and many years later i was reading an article about her in ELLE,and i immediatley knew who she was,and so i rediscovered that movie and saw it again.Anyone else seen it here?The actress that played her was absoloutely Brilliant.
Anyway she was a very inspirational woman,to be that free with yourself and pushing it to another level still intrigues me.She had extremely beautiful face shape and just exuded grace all of which was not lost even when she was describing more graphic life expiriences.Thank you for this thread.