In 1974, Barbara Kraft sent Anaïs Nin, who was offering to mentor writers, a submission that was accepted. Just after Kraft met the famous diarist, Nin discovered she had cancer and began a two-year descent into pain and suffering, but Kraft and Nin forged a deep friendship that helped Nin transcend the illness. Nin’s relentless spirit in the face of death is the subject of Kraft’s first memoir, Anaïs Nin: The Last Days (2011, Sky Blue Press).
Soon after Nin died in early 1977, Kraft attended a talk by Henry Miller and was so impressed that she wrote “An Open Letter to Henry Miller,” which was broadcast on a local NPR station. When Miller heard a recording of the “Letter,” he immediately sought Kraft out, and he eventually asked her to be one of sixteen rotating cooks who would not only cook dinner for him, but engage in conversation. She accepted, and soon she was conversing with the Tropic of Cancer writer on a regular basis about life, art, religion, sex, philosophy and, of course, writing. Kraft became more than a cook, though—she also was Miller’s confidante and, in the end, the one responsible for making sure he didn’t die alone in the chaotic house in Pacific Palisades, all of which is included in her latest book Henry Miller: The Last Days (2016, Sky Blue Press).
Listen as Kraft reflects upon these two intimate, but very different, friendships and how she captures the essence of both Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller.
Run time: 29 minutes
To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.
To listen without iTunes, click here.
For more on Henry Miller: The Last Days, click here.
For more on Anaïs Nin: The Last Days, click here.
Volume 3 of Gunther Stuhlmann’s ANAIS: An International Journal (1985) is now available as an e-book, as plans to digitize all 19 issues move ahead.
Stuhlmann, once Nin’s literary agent and co-editor, created ANAIS in 1983 in the wake of the demise of the only other Nin-related journal, Under the Sign of Pisces. Unlike its predecessor, however, ANAIS became a full-fledged journal of literary criticism that won awards for its excellence. Stuhlmann continued publishing ANAIS annually until just before his death in 2002. Of course, A Café in Space, the current Nin journal was born shortly thereafter.
Volume 3 contains excerpts from Nin’s riveting letters to her mother just as war was about to drive her and most of the other ex-patriots from Paris. Excerpts from Nin’s Early Diary also appear, as well as her views on fame. A study of Cuban author Julieta Campos is presented, with excerpts from her work, translated here in English for the first time. Anna Kavan’s work also appears, as well as articles and studies by Nin scholar Philip Jason, Otto Rank, André Bay and Peter Owen.
To preview and/or order ANAIS volume 3, click here.
For volume 2, click here.
For volume 1, click here.
To see A Café in Space, click here.
This past year has been a busy one when it comes to new Anais Nin-related publications, and we want to make it simple for you to keep up to date. Here is a list of the latest Nin titles available at the Kindle store or app, beginning with the most recent:
ANAIS: An International Journal, vol. 4, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann, originally published in 1986. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Nin’s husband, Hugh (Hugo) Guiler, his life and his art, with contributions from art critics, Nin’s brother Joaquin, and Guiler himself. Also included are important letters between Henry Miller and Anais Nin regarding their respective writing efforts, which shed light on the degree of influence each had on the other. Studies of Otto Rank, Nin’s friend Caresse Crosby, ancient Japanese poetry, and Nin’s writing round out the issue. For more on this title, click here.
The Authoritative Edition of The Four-Chambered Heart. The third novel of the Cities of the Interior series comes with an introduction by Anais Nin, character descriptions, publishing history and author chronology. For more on this title, click here.
The Authoritative Edition of Children of the Albatross. The second novel in the series entitled Cities of the Interior. The introduction is culled from Nin’s own words, and also included are character descriptions, publishing history, and a chronology of Nin’s life and work. For more on this title, click here.
The Authoritative Edition of Ladders to Fire. Anais Nin’s first full-length novel comes with the original prologue, character descriptions, publishing history, and a chronology of Nin’s life and work. For more on this title, click here.
ANAIS: An International Journal, vol. 3, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. Originally published in 1985; available digitally for the first time. With excerpts from Anais Nin’s diary, the work of Anna Kavan and Julieta Campos; articles by Otto Rank, Philip Jason, Tristine Rainer, et al. For more on this title, click here.
The Novel of the Future. Contains the whole of Anais Nin’s writing theory, beginning with “proceed from the dream outward…” Available as an ebook for the first time.
The Quotable Anais Nin, 365 quotations with citations. A quote for each day of the year, cited with book title and page number—the only such book completely devoted to Anais Nin.
Anais Nin Character Dictionary and Index to Diary Excerpts by Benjamin Franklin V. A complete guide to all of Anais Nin’s fictional characters—with descriptions and sources—as well as an index to all quotations from the previously unpublished diaries.
ANAIS: An International Journal, vol. 2, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. Originally published in 1984; available digitally for the first time. With excerpts from Anais Nin’s diary and articles by Nin scholars Philip K. Jason, Suzette A. Henke, as well as Harry T. Moore.
Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947. After a seventeen year wait, finally the sequel to Nin’s unexpurgated diaries is here. An inspiring and cathartic journey through the many relationships and works of art in 1940s New York. Details about Nin’s connections with Gore Vidal, Henry Miller, Gonzalo Moré, and Rupert Pole.
A Café in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal, vol. 11, edited by Paul Herron. Excerpts from Anais Nin’s 1950s diaries; the controversy over Alfred Perlès’s My Friend Henry Miller; articles by Kim Krizan, Jean Owen, John Tytell et al.
Stay tuned–more titles are in the works!
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.
To preview and/or order Ladders to Fire, click here.
For more on this title, click here.
Anaïs Nin is one of the most often quoted authors on the web. If you do a simple search, tens of thousands of sites appear, each with dozens of quotations that have inspired thousands of viewers to repost them, tweet them, collect them, print them on posters, t-shirts, cups, bookmarks, and just about every imaginable surface. The cut-and-paste nature of the internet, however, does not always lend itself to accuracy or even veracity—there many quotations that contain typos, omissions and alterations, and there are also plenty that are wrongly attributed to Nin.
We have, on this blog, tried our best to keep readers aware of these problems, including rectifying the misattributions of “Risk” (“And the day came when the risk…”) and “Good things happen to those who hustle,” the authors of which are apparently Elizabeth Appell and Chuck Noll, respectively. But we decided to go a step further, and that was to collect and cite as many meaningful Nin quotes as we could in The Quotable Anaïs Nin, which contains 365 quotations with the titles and page numbers of the publications from which they come.
A unique feature of the Quotable is the presence of several quotations that come from Nin’s unpublished work. As we know, she wrote at least 35,000 pages in her diary, and of this a large portion has either ended up on the cutting room floor or hasn’t yet been published. Within this vast material are many gems that have been culled from this inaccessible material and made public for the first time in Quotable.
The Quotable Anaïs Nin not only offers accurate quotations and sources, it provides readers with insightful and inspiring thoughts, one for each day of the year.
Nin scholar Benjamin Franklin V has culled more than 750 Anais Nin fictional characters, naming them, describing them, and cross-referencing them with the books in which they appear. He also has compiled a list of excerpts taken from Nin’s unpublished diaries and indexed them, providing Nin fans and scholars alike with a resource found nowhere else.
What makes the electronic version of the Anais Nin Character Dictionary and Index to Diary Excerpts even more valuable is the fact it is electronically searchable.
To order the digital version of Anais Nin Character Dictionary and Index to Diary excerpts, click here.
To order the print version, click here.
Another step in digitally reproducing editor Gunther Stuhlmann’s 19-volume ANAIS: An International Journal has been taken: Volume 2 (1984) is now available in Amazon’s Kindle store, which means it can be read on any device with a Kindle app.
Now that some of the original print issues are out of print, or close to it, we feel it is important that the contents of these valuable journals are preserved.
Volume 2 contains diary excerpts and correspondence by Anaïs Nin on Marcel Proust, Colette, the films of Ian Hugo, the impact Otto Rank had on her and Henry Miller, and her long friendship with Caresse Crosby of the Black Sun Press.
Ian MacNiven, biographer of Lawrence Durrell, theorizes that Nin wanted more out of her friendship with Durrell than did Durrell, that it was more than mere misunderstanding of each other’s work that separated them later in life. Suzette Henke explores how Nin’s understanding of Freud influenced her fictional characterizations, especially Lillian, the heroine of Seduction of the Minotaur. Philip K. Jason presents a history of Nin’s Gemor Press—its birth and the reasons for its demise.
Special sections on Crosby, Proust and Rank, along with poetry and rarely seen excerpts from relevant literature complete the issue.
UPDATE: Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947 is now available as an ebook from Amazon, and it can be ordered from your device or by clicking here.
Because of printer delays, the release date of the hardcover version has been pushed to November 1, 2013. The good news is that until then you can still pre-order at the discounted price. To reserve a copy, click here.
Lastly, The Daily Beast has produced the best analysis to date of Mirages. To read the article, click here. The author of the post, Lizzie Crocker (@nymtwit), shows she truly understands the message and value of Anais Nin.
Anais Nin is coming full circle, thanks to the book deal between Sky Blue Press and Swallow Press, founded by Anais Nin’s first true American publisher, Alan Swallow. Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947, the first new Nin diary since 1996, will be released both as a print book (Swallow/Sky Blue Press) and an e-book (Sky Blue Press) on October 15, 2013.
Culled from the original handwritten diaries kept by Nin from the time she fled the war in France in late 1939 until she met the man who would become her “West Coast husband” in 1947, Mirages tells the story Nin purposely left out of volumes 3 and 4 of The Diary of Anais Nin, which were published in 1969 and 1971, respectively. Because Nin’s husband Hugh Guiler was alive when these two volumes were released, not to mention her many lovers, Nin was forced to excise the erotic side of her life almost entirely. Not only was the sexual element gone, but also her great struggle to re-acclimate herself to 1940s New York after blossoming as a writer in Paris during the 1930s.
Finally, Mirages completes the story of Anais Nin’s agonizing journey to re-invent herself both as a writer and as a woman.
More information coming soon.
To pre-order Mirages at a 30% discount, click here.
For the first time, a digital edition of Anaïs Nin’s Cities of the Interior is being made available. To get an idea of the history of this collection of five novels written over a dozen year period, read Nin’s preface, written for the Swallow print edition of the book in 1974:
When Ladders to Fire was accepted by E. P. Dutton, I explained that it was part of a larger design, and that other novels would follow and round out the characters. The editors were aghast. They said the American public would never read a novel which threatened to continue, a “roman ﬂeuve” as it is called in France. In 1947 the book was published as an independent novel, and nothing was said about development and continuity. For that reason, I did not develop a method of linking the various narratives.
I began the next novel, Children of the Albatross, as if it were a new story. Though the same characters appeared, the theme was altogether different. Dutton’s nervousness was dissipated. Children of the Albatross was published a year after Ladders to Fire, but the link had to be made by the reader (or the critics), and naturally it was not.
Then Dutton planned to wait four years before publishing the third novel, The Four-Chambered Heart, and I feared the continuity would be lost in the waiting, so I gave it to Duell, Sloan and Pearce. But it was still to take three years after Children of the Albatross appeared before The Four-Chambered Heart was published. Much was lost by never stressing the continuity and interrelatedness of the novels. Unlike Durrell’s Quartet, which was openly described as a unity, my novels (in a much earlier period) appeared without explanation. Duell, Sloan and Pearce turned down the fourth book, A Spy in the House of Love. It was ﬁnally done by British Book Centre four years after The Four-Chambered Heart saw print. The continuity was totally erased by then.
Finally, I published Solar Barque myself, making it a small book with interesting drawings by Peter Loomer, age 11. It focused on an episode of Lillian’s life. At the time I thought it contained all I wished to say, but like a piece of music which continues to haunt one, the theme continued to develop in my head; and I took it up again and carried it to completion. Now there was a problem for my new and loyal publisher, Alan Swallow. Should we reprint Solar Barque with the new material? No one would notice then that it had been added to, and the reviewers would not review the same title twice. Swallow decided to make a new book with a new title: Seduction of the Minotaur. Some reviewers complained bitterly because they had already read the ﬁrst part. Generosity was not exactly rampant, and again I could not come forward to explain how I worked. It might have compounded the difficulties. When all the novels went out of print, and people wrote me asking for them, I published them together under the title Cities of the Interior (1959), and for the ﬁrst time the continuity was established.
Now that the links between the novels are made clear, I hope the journey through the Cities of the Interior will be deeper and less difficult.
Anaïs Nin, Los Angeles, 1974
You may order Cities of the Interior by clicking here.
You may also order the individual novels from the collection below: