Anais Nin’s Under a Glass Bell, Manga Style

Anaïs Nin was never afraid of new ways to disseminate her work, working in several different media, much of it ahead of its time. Her words were on the page, read at spoken word events, recorded on vinyl, made into film, and were accompanied by electronic music.

In Volume 10 of A Café in Space, yet another platform for Nin’s work has appeared: comic book (or graphic novel, or manga). Joel Enos, a frequent contributor to A Café in Space and who works in the graphics media, decided to put Nin’s famous story “Under a Glass Bell” into comic book form, using the artwork of the talented Fiona Meng to visualize Nin’s ethereal Jeanne and her two brothers, who, according to critic Oliver Evans, are living out a life of psychological incest in their house. The siblings’ isolation from the world is represented by the glass bell, which, as Nin says, “covered the entire house.”

The prospects of such a representation of Nin’s fiction are tantalizing indeed, and I hope we will see more in the future. Below are some frames from A Café in Space, which can be ordered both in print and digital format.

Below, Jeanne has rushed from disturbing images she sees in the “room of mirrors” to her sleeping brother:


Click to enlarge












Adapted by Joel Enos; illustrated by Fiona Meng; lettered by Fawn Lau Click to enlarge

Adapted by Joel Enos; illustrated by Fiona Meng; lettered by Fawn Lau
Click to enlarge

A Café in Space can be ordered in print form or as a digital book.

Under a Glass Bell (the ebook) can be ordered by clicking here.




3 Responses to “Anais Nin’s Under a Glass Bell, Manga Style”
  1. Joanne Rock says:

    What a fascinating idea! And I agree, Nin would be the first to embrace a new medium for her work.

  2. Thanks for you comment, Joanne. I find this particular medium for this particular story almost perfect–it is certainly beautiful in the hands of Fawn Meng. I’m trying to imagine House of Incest….hmm.


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  1. […] from the Abyss, FLAPPERHOUSE, and Nonbinary Review’s alphanumeric and a comics adaptation of Anais Nin’s “Under a Glass Bell” in A Café in Space. He’s also edited many comics, books and manga including the best-selling series, Tokyo […]

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