Anais Nin was the ultimate femme fatale, a passionate and mysterious woman, world famous for her extravagant sexual exploits, most notably her simultaneous affairs with Henry and June Miller and her bicoastal bigamous marriages. In the mid-1920s, eager to break the confines of American Victorianism both as an artist and as a woman, Nin traveled to Paris, where she fell in with the legendary artistic and literary circles of the Left Bank.
“Nin’s Diary”, published over the years in numerous volumes, has been hailed as a breakthrough document by literary critics and feminists alike. Yet in the published diary, Nin did not lay bare her true self. She instead constructed a carefully stylized image of the woman the world knew as “Anais” while keeping her inner self hidden. In “Anais”, biographer Noel Riley Fitch presents an honest portrait of Nin’s passionate, tumultuous, and sometimes bitterly painful life. Fitch reveals, among other things, that behind Nin’s coquetry was the desperate yearning of an abused and abandoned child. This, the first biography of Nin, complements, corrects, and demystifies the image that Nin so artfully crafted in her diary.