Lit Bio Deirdre Bair Anais Nin: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9780140255256

Anais Nin: A Biography

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9780140255256: Anais Nin: A Biography

The first biography of the famous diarist written with exclusive access to her complete, original diary and with the full cooperation of her family traces her infamous erotic exploits among the intellectual elite. Reprint. 25,000 first printing. Tour. NYT.

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From Booklist:

Anai{‹}is Nin was a woman obsessed with self and sex, a weaver of elaborate lies and multiple identities, and one of the world's most famous diarists. She filled 69 volumes with her exploits, observations, and interpretations, labored painfully over her fiction, and finally, in the last decade of her unusual and flamboyant life, was granted the recognition she always craved. Although the diaries that made her reputation were heavily edited and reworked, her surviving husband, Rupert Pole, is currently releasing "unexpurgated" volumes, including the disquieting Incest: From a "Journal of Love" (1992). Literary scholar and author Noe{‰}l Riley Fitch took a stab at an authoritative biography of Nin in Anai{‹}s: The Erotic Life of Anai{‹}s Nin (1993) and did capture the essence of her contradictory and determined personality, but Bair, distinguished and best-selling biographer of Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett, has been able to bring the ever-elusive Nin into sharper focus. Bair is the first scholar to be granted access to Nin's original diaries and to have the full cooperation of Pole and Nin's family and friends. Accordingly, Bair takes pains to treat Nin with the objectivity and critical analysis a writer, even a "major minor" one like Nin, deserves. This sterling biography clears up confusion on several fronts and offers the best portrait not only of Nin but of her husband Hugo Guiler, the man who "paid" for Nin's extravagant and, in some ways, pioneering life. Donna Seaman

From Library Journal:

In her Samuel Beckett (LJ 6/15/78) and Simone de Beauvoir (LJ 3/1/90), Bair was overtly judgmental by a forthright middle-class ethic. Still, readers could appreciate that her fastidious grounding of verifiable facts made possible an exact correlation of literature and life. Classifying Nin as a "major minor writer" does not encourage readers to overlook moral lapses in the name of art. Bair clearly finds Nin distasteful, a self-victimizing nymphomaniac who victimized in turn. She was a narcissist, bigamist, and compulsive liar whose obsessive diary-keeping was both her personal art form and her personal undoing. In fiction, her surrealistic representation of eroticism made it seem like fantasy and hence more poetic than pathological. Called a decadent St. Theresa by a publisher's reader, she bore her final illness bravely. Bair has had access to 250,000 pages of Nin's unedited diaries and interviewed a staggering number of "witnesses." The result is compelling reading for literature and biography collections.
--Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Binghamton Univ., N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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