Anais Nin, A Biography by Deirdre Bair
Alright now Anais Nin isn't someone who ever interested me much as reading matter. I was introduced to her mythic personality by the movie Henry and June
, as well as sundry of covers of her various books that all featured soft-focus portraits of the author. I didn't take to this fuzzy icon of artistic femininity (or would that be feminine artistry?), no, not in the slightest. But I've got to admit, the story of Nin's life will give you a run for your money: it is interesting, and as complex as the deceitful self-styled doyenne of Great Feeling could devise for herself. Even while her persona continued to irritate me, Dierdre Bair's writing wouldn't let me give up on this demi-crazed diarist. She portrays Nin's admirable determination to be recognized for her own talents, even while Nin's own belief system (and the prevailing atmosphere of the time) denied this to women. Towards the end of her life, Anais Nin was both hailed and reviled by the women's movement of the 60's and 70's for these inherent conflicts. But hey, she was a highly contradictory fucked up pathological liar, so what do you want? What's really cool is that despite all this, Nin seems to pull it all together for herself at the very end, finding elusive fame and a purchaser of her epic diaries. What's more, in the process she manages to mature a little, and find personal redemption. As bios go, it was better'n fiction.
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