Anais Nin Podcast 26: Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1947-1955

In this episode, Paul Herron, editor of Sky Blue Press, discusses the editing process of the new Anaïs Nin diary, Trapeze, which has just been officially released.

As the title of the diary suggests, this is the story of how Nin was able to pull off what was—and still is—the seemingly impossible feat of maintaining two men, two homes, two lives on opposite sides of the continent without either man knowing about the other. The idea that Nin’s husband, Hugh Guiler, know about Nin’s lover, Rupert Pole, is debunked. With the help of loyal friends, including Guiler’s maid, and countless fabrications, explanations, fictional employers and assignments, she was able to spend about half the year, on and off, with each man and live within two completely opposing worlds. New York was the center of art world and internationalism, high-energy, and Nin moved in vast social circles, living what she called a “big life” with Guiler. In California, she was with Pole, a forest ranger, in a cabin at the foot of the mountains in Sierra Madre, a sleepy town disconnected from the rest of the world, in the middle of nature, and the pace was almost impossibly slow. Each man had his attributes that Nin found irresistible, and yet each man’s negative traits drove Nin mad, even to the point where she found herself not going TO each man, but FLEEING from each. And yet, it was a lifestyle she maintained for the rest of her life, and a story that is only now exposed to the public in full, in Nin’s own words.

ruperthelmet

Rupert Pole, 1950s

Herron also discusses the back-stories of Trapeze, including the fact that Nin was increasingly excluded from the American literary world, and her work was chastised by friend and foe alike to the point where she was ready to give up on her writing career altogether.

Also discussed is one of the major supporting characters in Nin’s life at the time—James (Jim) Leo Herilhy, who would later achieve fame with his novels, including Midnight Cowboy. Herlihy not only supported Nin’s writing at the very time when no one else did, he also know Guiler and Pole well enough to give Nin objective and honest feedback on her relationships with them in his eloquent correspondence to her, which is quoted in this podcast.

Run time: 18 minutes

To listen with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

This podcast is sponsored by Trapeze, which can be ordered as follows:

To order the hardcover edition at a discounted price, click here.

To order a Kindle app edition, click here.

Anaïs Nin’s new diary is ready to order

Nearly four years after the release of the last Nin diary, Mirages, Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947-1955 is ready to order in hardback format from Amazon.com.

Trapeze is Nin’s record of the early years of her double life (a husband in New York and a young lover in California) and how she was able to maintain this lifestyle in spite of perilous consequences if she ever let either man know about the other. She was metaphorically swinging on a bicoastal trapeze with no net below. The lengths to which she had to go, as well as the psychological and physical strain, are told in excruciating detail—and when one reads her tale, it is hard to believe that she pulled off  this feat for the rest of her life.

To order Trapeze: click here.

Richard Centing, co-founder of first Anais Nin periodical, has passed

Richard Centing, of the Ohio State University Libraries, an early Anais Nin supporter, passed away in January of this year, I just learned.

Along with Benjamin Franklin V, Centing produced the first Nin periodical, Under the Sign of Pisces, beginning in 1970 and running until 1981, after which Centing published a similar publication, Seahorse. These publications were what Anais Nin called “a café in space,” where readers and writers could “gather” in their pages.

The longevity of Centing’s periodicals was one of the driving forces behind the decision made by Rupert Pole and Gunther Stuhlmann to produce the annual ANAIS: An International Journal, which ran an amazing 19 issues until Stuhlmann’s death in 2002. A Café in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal has carried on the tradition ever since. But it all began with Richard Centing’s idea some 47 years ago.

Richard was the very first Nin scholar I met, back in 1996, in Columbus. He kindly gave me the “grand tour” of the library’s Nin-related holdings, and presented me with many gifts, including a poster promoting Nin’s novels published by Swallow Press, which hangs in my office. He was the first scholar to encourage me with my first project, Anais Nin: A Book of Mirrors. After I showed him the manuscript, he said to me: “This is important work,” which went a long way in validating my efforts. Not only did he contribute an article and photographs to the anthology, he guided me in promoting it after it was printed. I remember him as a kind and generous man.

To read Richard Centing’s obituary, click here.

RC&AN&BFV

Richard Centing (l), Anais Nin, Benjamin Franklin V

Podcast 25: Anaïs Nin’s Sense of Style with Gwendolyn Michel

We often discuss Anaïs Nin’s writing, her love life, her life choices, but we rarely delve into her incredible, creative sense of style—her clothing, her interior designs, even what perfumes she wore. This podcast aims to rectify this. Today I speak with Gwendolyn Michel, PhD candidate and recipient of the Stella Blum Research Grant from the Costume Society of America about how Anaïs Nin’s creativity was far-reaching. When you think about the scope of it, it’s really incredible. Not only did she dress exotically, she oftentimes designed her own clothing, which was occasionally plagiarized by various couturiers. She designed furniture and interior schemes that awed those who experienced them—her apartment at 47 blvd Suchet in Paris and her fabled Louveciennes house are but two examples.

Listen as we discuss how these creations came to be and what has happened to them. Anaïs Nin’s clothes are still around, in various hands, each article a treasure. Gwendolyn Michel has done plenty of detective work and has made some fascinating discoveries—for example, did you know what happened to the dress Nin word in Henry Miller’s favorite photograph of her, or where a shawl she wore when she was an artist’s model ended up? Find out here.

Run time: 48 minutes

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

This podcast is sponsored by Trapeze: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947-1955, which can be pre-ordered here.

Below, I have posted images of some of the clothing articles discussed in the podcast. I hope you agree that this is a fascinating topic and should not be overlooked.

Anais Nin at Louveciennes

Anais Nin at Louveciennes

 

Helba Huara and Anais Nin, 1936

Helba Huara and Anais Nin, 1936. Photo: Emile Savitry, courtesy of Sophie Malexis.

 

Anais Nin, 1920s

Anais Nin, 1920s

 

AnaisShawl

Anais Nin’s shawl today

 

Nin's leopard beret

Nin’s leopard beret today

 

Anais&Beret

Anais Nin & her beret, 1955

 

Tassels for Nin's Tahitian grass skirt today

Tassels for Nin’s Tahitian grass skirt today

 

Nin in Tahitian grass skirt, 1967

Nin in Tahitian grass skirt, 1967

Draft of Cacharel’s description of ANAIS ANAIS:

CACHAREL CREE AVEC DIPARCO son PREMIER PARFUM ANAIS ANAIS

INVENTE POUR LA FEMME CONTEMPORAINE SUR UN THEME FLEURI
CONSTRUIT AUTOUR DE LA FRAGRANCE DU LYS AVEC UN BOUQUET DES ARÔMES LES PLUS VOLUPTUEUX
SEPTEMERE 1978
ANAIS ANAIS UN FLEURI “INSPIRÉ” ?

“Je ne veux vivre que pour l’extase”. Anaïs Nin. Journal. Tome I.

Ailleurs, cette femme ardente déclarait : “J’ai le pouvoir de brûler comme une flamme”.

En son hommage – et pour toutes les femmes qu’elle incarnait – Anaïs Anaïs exhale le plus extatique des parfums, celui des pétales du lys fraîchement éclos. Mystérieux lys, orgueilleux et pur dont le parfum enivre pourtant avec les plus sensuels des effluves. Non moins énigmatique sans doute était dans le mythologie Persane la déesse Anaïtis, Immaculée, tantôt vierge, tantôt prostituée. L’essence dominante du lys, accompagnée d’une touche d’éléments fruités, est soutenue qu’un ensemble de notes florales luxuriantes et voluptueuses : jasmin du Maroc, rose de Grasse, iris de Florence, fleur d’oranger, ylang-ylang de la Réunion.

Non moins cosmopolites, quelques senteurs boisées complètent ce bouquet fleuri : vétiver, patchouli de Singapour, mousse de chêne de Yougoslavie…

Anaïs Anaïs enfin se décline sur fond ambré de musc, d’épices et de cuir de Russie.

Inspiré du visage de femme-fleur d’Anaïs Nin – inexplicablement irradié de quelque chose d’asiatique – une illustration florale, délicatement ombrée de pastels estompés, orne tous les emballages d’Anaïs Anaïs.

PRET-A-PORTER… PARFUM-A-PORTER

La femme se réfugie dans son parfum. Hue, elle est encore revêtue des senteurs qu’elle affectionne. Livrée au sommeil, Marylin parait sa nudité de quelques touches d’un parfum… Insupportable trahison pour un couturier : la femme qui suit fidèlement ses créations échappe à sa griffe dans cette ultime parure. Alors, conscient ou non, un désir de totale possession mène un jour ou l’autre tout grand créateur d’un style ã signer son œuvre par un parfum… C’est-à-dire une image olfactive de la femme rêvée.

(CACHEREL-DIPARCO)

Crée en 1958 par Jean CACHAREL, la marque est aujourd’hui du prêt-à-porter. Elle doit semble-t-il son succès à un effort continu pour une meilleure diffusion d’un style unique et de qualité comme les vêtements et accessoires CACHAREL, Anaïs Anaïs tiendra le haut de la gamme parmi les griffes du prêt-à-porter. Créateur d’Eau Jeune, Diparco entend poursuivre une démarche comparable dans le domaine du parfum : la diffusion la plus vaste de la qualité.

ANAIS ANAIS…UN FRAGMENT SOYEUX DE FEMME
Ardente et douce, féminine, raffinée et sensuelle – ainsi se découvre l’auteur du Journal et de Venus Erotica  la jeune Cacharel ?

“Je suis un fragment soyeux de femme” disait-elle. Le femme CACHAREL n’est-elle pas attentive au moelleux d’une étoffe, ã le rare perfection d’une coupe ?

A l’image d’Anaïs Nin – toujours vêtue avec une recherche très personnelle – elle accorde une grande importance au vêtement “inséparable de l’art des relations ou de l’art de vivre”. Comme elle aussi, elle sait que l’accessoire peut “jouer cette note lyrique qui révèle la richesse intérieure de la femme”.

Raffinés, cette femme l’est sans sophistication : le goût du détail lui est naturel et l’harmonie nait spontanément de ses compositions de matières et de couleurs. Elle intègre son élégance ã la vie quotidienne. Passéiste en quelque sorte, son goût des raffinements va de avec une adhésion sans réserve au monde d’aujourd’hui : engagée dans la vie active, la femme CACHAREL est consciente de participer à l’évolution de sa condition.

Elle est la femme contemporaine et en assume les contradictions.

A 30 ans elle porte à tout jamais l’âge de la jeunesse. Comme Anaïs Nin, éternellement adolescente. Comme une autre illustre Anaïs, Mlle Anaïs, née Anaïs Aubert, artiste dramatique (1802-1871), sociétaire au Français dans la première moitié vouée aux emplois d’ingénues par la grâce de son physique miraculeusement juvénile.

EAU DE TOILETTE, EAU DE PARFUM, PARFUM GEL ET SAVON
(Fiche technique de présentation et de prix des différents articles Distribution : toutes les parfumeries, et grands magasins. Comme les vêtements et accessoires CACHAREL, Anaïs Anaïs sera accessible au plus grand nombre. Dans l’univers de prestige, son prix est particulièrement compétitif.

L’EAU DE TOILETTE, Tout le monde connait : on aime s’en asperger le matin. Avec le maquillage, ce rituel constitue l’ultime garant de la beauté quotidienne. La journée peut commencer.

Plus concentrée, L’EAU DE PARFUM réserve ses sortilèges pour les instants privilégiés les fêtes du cœur et des sens, les voluptés secrètes ou partagées. La femme qui porte Anaïs Anaïs manie en experte l’art de se parfumer. Pour exhaler son odorant mystère, elle connait les heures favorables et les endroits propices. Elle a d’ailleurs délibérément choisi son eau de parfum, sans attendre qu’on lui offre. Attentive tout au long de la journée à sa fraîcheur et sa beauté, elle sait raviver quand il le faut la rare fragrance qui l’accompagne, avec une caresse de parfum gel discrètement volée ã son précieux boitier.

Anaïs Anaïs en PARFUM GEL : le geste d’une nouvelle féminité. Sortir un boîtier de son sac, l’ouvrir pour y vérifier dans un miroir sa beauté… Sous l’apparence anodine de ce geste familier se cache une nouvelle complicité entre la femme et son parfum : nonchalamment l’index glisse à la surface brillante du gel pour déposer, derrière l’ore1lle, au creux des seins ou à la naissance du poignet, toute la quintessence d’Anaïs Anaïs.

To learn about the Costume Society of America, click here.

New Anaïs Nin Podcast and A Café in Space

We are celebrating Anaïs Nin’s 114th birthday with two major events: First, the publication of the 14th volume of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, and the 24th episode of The Anaïs Nin Podcast.

The theme of this year’s A Café in Space is twofold: erotica and Nin’s relationship with her parents. Scholars from India and England look at Nin’s childhood and how it affected her life: Kastoori Barua’s essay uses popular theory to explain how Nin’s life choices were influenced by the unusual relationship she had with both parents, while Jean Owen explores adult-onset incest, using Nin and Kathryn Harrison as examples. Casandra Lim uses Freud’s theory of Oedipus to explains Nin’s relationships. The erotica aspect comes from the recent release of Nin’s long-lost collection Auletris: Erotica, and we present the introduction to the book as well as a lengthy excerpt. Erotica writer Lana Fox then uses Auletris as inspiration for her short story “L’Étalion.”

Also included is never-before-published correspondence between Anaïs Nin, Joaquin Nin-Culmell and Eduardo Sanchez regarding contentious character descriptions of family members in the first volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin, some of which is explosive.

CafeVol14-Cover-Draft-1

Nin scholars Simon Dubois Boucheraud and Jessica Gilbey also provide article to volume 14, while David Green treats us to his experiences in Durrell country in France. There is an excerpt from and a review of Kazim Ali’s new book Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study and a tribute to John Ferrone from Tristine Rainer.

Short fiction, poetry and art are from Danica Davidson, Katie Doherty, Kennedy Gammage, Harry Kiakis, Steven Reigns, Chrissie Sepe, Colette Standish, David Wilde and Changming Yuan.

At $15, and with this caliber of work, it’s a steal.

Podcast 24 concentrates on the history and future of Anaïs Nin’s diary publication. As you may know, we are fast approaching the May 2017 release of the sixth unexpurgated diary, Trapeze, which covers the beginning of Nin’s double life with husband Hugh Guiler and lover Rupert Pole on opposite ends of the country. We talk about the misconceptions behind the original series (the controversy surrounding the “missing husband”), the development of the early diary series, and a look at the rocky unexpurgated series, one which has reached incredible heights with Henry and June, and horrible lows after Incest was published in 1992, setting up the collapse of Nin’s popularity. I talk about the editing of both Mirages and Trapeze, and the two future diaries, about which few know at this point.

Coming in at 20 minutes, I guarantee it’s worth the listen.

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.
To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order volume 14 of A Café in Space, click here.
It is also available as a digital edition.

Marguerite Young’s reaction to The Diary of Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin had always favored writers who were outside of what was considered the norm of modern literature, beginning with D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and Djuna Barnes in the 1930s. In the 1960s, Marguerite Young, the author of the massive Miss MacIntosh My Darling, was championed by Nin as a writer extraordinaire of poetic prose. Both before and after the book was published, Nin mentioned Young in articles, a review, interviews and lectures whenever she had the chance. Young repaid Nin the favor by offering to write a “statement” about Nin’s forthcoming The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume One, which debuted in 1966. I have recovered the handwritten draft of Young’s reaction to the diary and have rendered it below without editing. This is indeed a rare gem. Whether the statement was actually used (I find no trace of it anywhere) it certainly does capture the nature of Nin’s writing and how it came to be. The statement was given to Hiram Haydn, Nin’s editor at Harcourt Brace & World, as annotated on the first page of the draft (see the figure below).

youngreactiondiary

Click to enlarge

The Diary of Anaïs Nin, covering the years 1931-1934, is a fascinating segment of that journal which she began as a Spanish-speaking child who came from a fabulous, sophisticated, and aristocratic European background to live the impoverished life of a displaced person in New York City.

When she stepped off the boat with her mother and two younger brothers who came here because of their abandonment by their father, a famed pianist, the darling of European musical circles—she clutched in her hand that notebook in which, like Henry James’ Maisie, she would tall all she knew of life’s displacements, discussions, and cruel tragedies which needed the illumination of her vision, her intelligence, her compassion, her transmuting imagination.

Like Henry James’ Maisie who triumphed over the childhood sorrows cause by the perversities of tempestuous and temperamental adulthood—in this case, the foibles and fantasies of the wandering father, for mother was a source of peace and strength—the little girl writing down first intuitions and perceptions lived to become that beautiful lady whose portrait we see in the diary—a literary lady who had grown up to fall in love with the beauties of English prose, who became herself a master of lyric style, the visual and the energetic, the luminous revelation of the psyche, ever the psyche dreaming at her glass, returned to Europe as one who is half American, half European. Say that hers is a transatlantic consciousness—she has made many journeys back and forth although probably the one journey which interests her most is a journey into the underworld of memory or a journey across a sea of dreams.

America is fortunate in having at least this quasi-citizen—though we may entertain the suspicion that in Europe she seems the European who never left the place of her beginnings, perhaps because she is a seeker always of origin. And yet by chance we may claim her as most distinctly our—one who gives a new dimension to the crude immediacy of American life, a tone of elegance, that art which is always the most formal thing and which has elicited, because of its insistence upon informative musical tone and precise hieroglyphic image, the admiration and even the imitation of thousands of America writers, particularly the poets and the young experimenters with prose, a prose which should be something more than dull, flat, neutral, uncommitted—a prose which should burn with that personal and impersonal intensity which they have found in her as in the firefly and the star.—Marguerite Young

Anaïs Nin’s long-lost erotica Auletris is now in print after a 66 year wait: click here for details.

Review of Henry Miller: The Last Days

Kraft, Barbara. Henry Miller, the Last Days, a memoir (Texas: Sky Blue Press 2016) 203 pp.

Only a few months after Anaïs Nin’s death, Barbara Kraft attended a ‘Q & A’ talk by Henry Miller, (whose work she had always admired)… This rediscovery led to Kraft writing and reading ‘An Open Letter to Henry Miller’ on an NPR station… Miller subsequently invited her to cook dinner for him, and, of course, to engage in conversation (which led to) a mutually nurturing friendship for the last two years of his life… Paul Herron, Introduction

The Open Letter to Henry Miller (1977) appears at the end of Kraft’s paean, a moving tribute that flows like a Henry Miller watercolor and echoes as one of his favorite pieces of music, Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp, Op. 53.

Kraft opens with a brief summation of Henry Miller’s life and passing before she begins with her first meeting of the famous writer as one of his many rotating cook in early 1978. “A modest man, surely the most unaffected, unself-conscious human being I have ever met.”

Readers will find no need to underline, star, mar or highlight this flawless gem that radiates the illuminating facets of a self-taught man, a writer who ranks with Emerson, Thoreau and other major authors who have received their due in American literature. However, albeit Miller was read widely during his time, he did not receive the recognition and glory he deserved and still deserves.

FrontCoverEbookKraft’s meetings with Miller seem to weave his immediate life with his passing, as though they were one. In Kraft’s Dec 26, 1979 interview with Miller, he said, “Sex is not everything. It’s the last thing in a way, in one sense, compared to love. Without love one is hopeless. One can’t live without love. It’s the spiritual food that we subsist on.”

In the same interview, he said, “I’m old-fashioned and I’m glad to be old-fashioned because I think they have misinterpreted my own words.”

Miller was wed five times and fathered three children. What the reader will discern from Miller’s final days is the fact that he continued his habit of painting with canvasses spread on his ping pong table, continued to be generous by allowing strangers and family to board in his house, and continued to be a scintillating conversationalist who did not dwell in his past. In New York in the thirties before he left for Paris, he literally begged in the streets so he could eat, a habit which ended when someone tossed coins in his face, proving to him this was not the way of a writer. Yet he still needed to eat, and in Tropic of Cancer Miller describes how he sent letters to fourteen people asking if he might lunch or dine with them one day a week.

At his home in Pacific Palisades, Miller enlisted sixteen cooks who came and created a dinner for him once a week. No doubt, Barbara Kraft was his favorite, and she stood up for him when he was neglected by his caretakers and arranged for the compassionate Bill Pickerill to stay with Miller during his last weeks, ensuring someone would be there at the end.

Of his ten year affair with Anaïs Nin, Miller wondered aloud how she could have been attracted to him, and Kraft, who was a close friend of Nin during the last three years of her life, wisely answered it was because he was “so plain and down to earth.”

She added: “You rooted her. She needed your realness, your simplicity and directness. Otherwise she might have flown off into space, given her obsession with escaping anything resembling reality.”

For Henry Miller was a free spirit and a true poet. In Kraft’s memoir Anaïs Nin: The Last Days (Sky Blue Press, 2011), readers do not detect Anaïs’s great love of literature and reading. There is a focus on forgiveness for her past. Nin had a desire for fame and the love she sought in so many men who only gave her sex. There is suffering that does not exist in Henry Miller’s last days although he was deaf and blind in one eye, frail to the point he could not even hold up his head even at dinner.

But, Miller was never a complainer, never a man who bemoaned his lack of recognition. He truly loved women, and was greatly inspired his last love, the beautiful, young Brenda Venus; he never had a need of forgiveness. He was a philosopher, unlike Nin, and also a man who, like Faulkner, no doubt believed in the indomitable human spirit. One of Miller’s adages:

“Those who think with the heart see life as a tragedy while those who perceive it with their heads see it as a comedy.”

Miller called Barbara Kraft “a writer for all time.” She truly is. Despite the chaos of going through a horrendous divorce after a lengthy marriage, she was able to immerse herself in Henry Miller’s life and death. What she placed on her mirror to buoy her spirits after Miller’s quiet death on June 7, 1980, “at home in his own bed,” are Henry Miller’s own words to uplift us all:

Paradise is everywhere and every road… One can only go forward and then sideways and then up and then down…there is perpetual movement…which is circular, spiral, endless. Every man has his own destiny; the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads… Understanding is not piercing of the mystery but an acceptance of it, a living blissfully with it, in it, through and by it.

Reviewed by Rochelle Lynn Holt
rochellelynnholt.com

Podcast 23: The Diary of Anais Nin: Who Was In, Who Was Out

Fifty years ago Anaïs Nin’s decades-long struggle to escape obscurity and misunderstanding came to an explosive end when Harcourt published the first volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin. It was an instant commercial and critical smash and propelled Nin from the shadows into the spotlight, from acult figure status to fame, at the age of 63, a status she would enjoy until her death in 1977.

The Diary is noted for its character study of Henry Miller and his wife June, as well as several other notable people, and it was done in a way that left out the intimate details of Nin’s love life, which kept her husband, family, and lovers from being hurt or scandalized. Even without this aspect of Nin’s life, the Diary was hailed as a fascinating document of the inner life of a creative and incredibly intuitive woman-artist who socialized with fascinating people in Paris of the 1930s…and because it was released at the dawn of second-wave feminism and the overall “youth movement” of the 1960s, it resonated with young people, especially young women who saw Nin as a sort of feminist and free-thinking pioneer. The timing could not have been better.

eduardoletter

Eduardo Sanchez’s letter to Anais Nin (fragment) Click to enlarge

What is generally unknown about the Diary is what had to be done in order to include the characters who inhabit it. Had Henry Miller declined to be in it, it probably never would have been published, or if it had, it certainly would not have been as successful. In this podcast, we find out exactly what Miller thought about his portrait, and what he asked Nin to keep or delete.

We also hear from two people important to Nin—English writer Rebecca West and cousin Eduardo Sánchez—both of whom refused to allow Nin to include them. West was one of Nin’s earliest female idols, and Sánchez was Nin’s childhood crush and her confidant during her early adulthood. Sánchez’s condemnation of not only his portrait, but the Diary itself, is astounding, as you will hear in a letter he wrote to Nin in 1965.

Run time: 12:33

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

This podcast is sponsored by Auletris: Erotica by Anaïs Nin, just released 75 years after it was written.

Podcast 22: The Battle to Uncensor Anais Nin’s Auletris: Erotica

When Anaïs Nin’s long-lost erotica collection, Auletris, was published in October 2016 by Sky Blue Press, it was immediately censored by Amazon, the world’s largest retailer. What was amazing is not only was the most recognizable name in female erotica rendered invisible during searches, others were not, including, unbelievably, an entire category of “dinosaur porn.”

Detail of cover, from a card in Nin's collection

Detail of cover, from a card in Nin’s collection

Was this a gross misunderstanding, or was it ignorance? Is it possible that the higher-ups had never heard of Nin despite her bestselling erotica Delta of Venus and Little Birds? This is the story of how Sky Blue Press took on Goliath and ultimately, with help from the media and customers, won.

Run time: 14 minutes

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To purchase Auletris, click here.

To read a review of Auletris by Los Angeles Review of Books, click here.

To listen to a panel of experts discuss Auletris, click here.

Seeking inmates of Amazon’s dungeon

As you may know, The Anaïs Nin Podcast is a monthly program that touches upon anything and everything having to do with Nin and her work. This month we saw the release of her new erotica collection Auletris by Sky Blue Press, and when Amazon placed it into its “adult content dungeon,” which rendered it unsearchable, a controversy arose that led to media coverage and, amazingly, Amazon’s changing their mind.

cover170x170But not everyone is so lucky. Amazon’s dungeon is still filled with several books that will never see the light of day.

Now, to my point: this practice of making books invisible is the topic of the next podcast. It amounts to modern-day censorship. Are you an author or publisher who is in the dungeon, or have been? If so, I want to hear your story. You can write me at skybluepress @ skybluepress . com. I plan on airing in mid-November.

Perhaps together we can make a difference.

To order Auletris: Erotica, click here.

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