Ladders to Fire, Anaïs Nin’s first full-length novel, was originally published by Dutton in 1946 with a prologue by the author. Since then, it has been in and out of print, and was finally collected in the series of novels, or, as Nin put it, the “roman fleuve,” Cities of the Interior, self-published in 1959. Alan Swallow republished the novel in the 1960s, and Cities of the Interior was republished by Swallow Press in 1974.
Lost in the many incarnations of the book were Nin’s prologue and any sense of connection with the other novels in the series (Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart, A Spy in the House of Love, and Seduction of the Minotaur). What this new authoritative edition offers is a publishing history, descriptions of the main characters (all of whom appear in the other novels in the series), a chronology of Nin’s life and work, and the original prologue by Nin.
As the other novels in the series are recast in the “authoritative edition series,” it is our hope that the collection will finally achieve the “flow” from one novel to the next that Nin originally intended.
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