Anaïs Nin Biography

Writer, Diarist

Portrait Of Anais Nin
Portrait Of Anais Nin, 1966. Fred Stein Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Known for: novels, published diaries
Occupation: writer
Dates: February 21, 1903 - January 14, 1977
Full birth name: Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell

Anais Nin was born in France. Her father was the composer Joaquin Nin, who grew up in Spain but was born in and returned to Cuba. Her mother, Rosa Culmell y Vigaraud, was of Cuban, French, and Danish ancestry. Anais Nin moved to the United States in 1914 after her father deserted the family.

In the United States she attended Catholic schools, dropped out of school, worked as a model and dancer, and returned to Europe in 1923.

Anais Nin studied psychoanalysis with Otto Rank and briefly practiced as a lay therapist in New York. She studied the theories of Carl Jung for a time as well.

Finding it difficult to get her erotic stories published, Anais Nin helped found Siana Editions in France in 1935. By 1939 and the outbreak of World War II she returned to New York, where she became a figure in the Greenwich Village crowd.

An obscure literary figure for most of her life, when her journals -- kept since 1931 -- began to be published in 1966, Anais Nin entered the public eye. The ten volumes of The Diary of Anaïs Nin have remained popular. These are more than simple diaries; each volume has a theme, and were likely written with the intent that they later be published. Letters she exchanged with intimate friends, including Henry Miller, have also been published.

The popularity of the diaries brought interest in her previously-published novels. The Delta of Venus and Little Birds, originally written in the 1940s, were published after her death (1977, 1979).

Anais Nin is known, as well, for her lovers, who included Henry Miller, Edmund Wilson, Gore Vidal and Otto Rank.

She was married to Hugh Guiler of New York who tolerated her affairs. She also entered into a second, bigamous marriage to Rupert Pole in California. She had the marriage annulled about the time she was achieving more widespread fame. She was living with Pole at the time of her death, and he saw to the publication of a new edition of her diaries, unexpurgated.

The ideas of Anais Nin about "masculine" and "feminine" natures have influenced that part of the feminist movement known as "difference feminism." She disassociated herself late in her life from the more political forms of feminism, believing that self-knowledge through journaling was the source of personal liberation.

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Bibliography - By Anais Nin

Ana-Is Nin Reader. 

Anais Nin's Narratives. Anne T. Salvatore, editor. Hardcover, 2001.

Arrows of Longing: the Correspondence Between Anais Nin and Felix Pollak, 1952-1976. Paperback. 1998.

Celebration! with Anaèis Nin.

Cities of the Interior: Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart. Hardcover. 1974.

Cities of the Interior. Paperback. 1975.

Collages. Jean Varda, illustrator. Paperback. 1964.

Conversations with Anais Nin (Literary Conversations Series). Wendy M. Dubow, editor.

D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. Paperback. 1977.

Delta of Love: Erotica. Paperback. 1989.

Diary of Anais Nin. Vol. 2.

Diary of Anais Nin 1939-1944. Vol. 3.

Diary of Anais Nin 1944-1947. Vol. 4.

Diary of Anais Nin 1947-1955. Vol. 5.

Diary of Anais Nin 1955-1966. Vol. 6.

Diary of Anais Nin 1966-1974. Vol. 7.

The Early Diary of Anais Nin 1920-1923. Paperback. 1983.

The Early Diary of Anais Nin 1923-1927. Paperback. 1986.

The Early Diary of Anais Nin 1927-1931. Paperback. 1985.

Fire: From a Journal of Love, the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1934-1937. Paperback. 1996.

The Four-Chambered Heart. Paperback.


Henry and June. Paperback. 1990.

Illustrated Delta of Venus. with N. Clarke.

In Favor of the Sensitive Man, and Other Essays. Paperback. 1976.

Incest: From 'A Journal of Love' - the Unexpurgated Diaries of Anais Nin 1932-1934. Paperback.

Journal of a wife: the early diary of Anais Nin, 1903-1927.

Journals of Anais Nin Volume 2.

Journals of Anais Nin Volume 4.

Journals of Anais Nin Volume 5.

Journals of Anais Nin Volume 6.

La-Maison de l'Inceste. Paperback. 2000.

Ladders to Fire. Reprint, 1995.

Letters to a Friend in Australia. 

Linotte, the Early Diary of Anais in 1914-1920. 

The Mystic of Sex and Other Writings. Gunther Stuhlmann, editor.

Nearer the Moon: From a Journal of Love - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1937-1939. Hardcover. 1996.

Novel of the Future. 

Paris revisited.

Photographic Supplement to the Diary of Anais Nin. Paperback. 1974.

Seduction of the Minotaur: Cities of the Interior, Vol. 5. Paperback. 1974.

Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience, Including Charlotte Bronte, Louisa May Alcott, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou, Billie Holiday, Nina Hagen, Carrie Fisher, and Others. Michael Horowitz, editor, Cynthia Palmer, editor. Paperback. 2000.

Under a Glass Bell, and Other Stories. Gunther Stuhlmann, editor. Paperback. 1995.

Waste of Timelessnes, and Other Early Stories. Gunther Stuhlmann, editor. 1994.

The White Blackbird. 

Winter of Artifice: Three Novelettes. Paperback. 1990.

Nin, Anais and friends. White Stains. Hardcover. 1995.

Anais Nin Herself: Read Selections From Her Diaries, 1931-24. Audio Cassette. 1992.

Anais Nin, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, e.e. cummings [Abridged]. Audio Cassette.

Art & Spirit. Audio Cassette. 1972.

The Craft of Writing. Audio Cassette. 1973.

An Evening with Anais Nin. Audio Cassette. 1972.

Smith, Lillian, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dorothy Parker, Anais Nin. Great Women Writers Read Their Work.Audio Cassette. 1989.

Bibliography - About Anais Nin

Anais Nin: A Book of Mirrors.Paul Herron, editor. 1996.

The Critical Response to Anais Nin.

Philip K. Jason, editor. Hardcover.

Recollections of Anais Nin by Her Contemporaries. Benjamin Franklin, editor.

Bair, Deirdre. Anais Nin: A Biography. 1994/1996.

Chicago, Judy. Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist. Anais Nin, introduction. Paperback. 1993.

Cutting, Rose Marie. Anais Nin : A Reference Guide (Reference Publication in Literature). Hardcover. 1978.

Deduck, Patricia A. Realism, Reality and the Fictional Theory of Alain Robbe-Grillet and Anais Nin. 

Duxler, Margot. Seduction: A Portrait of Anais Nin. Hardcover. 2002.

Evens, Oliver. Anais Nin. 

Fitch, Noel Riley. Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin. 1994.

Franklin, Benjamin. Anais Nin: a bibliography.

Franklin, Benjamin and Duane Schneider. Anais Nin: An Introduction. 

Hinz, Evelyn J. The Mirror and the Garden: Realism and Reality in the Writings of Anais Nin. 

Holt, Rochelle Lynn. Anais Nin: An Understanding of Her Art.

Jason, Philip K. Anais Nin and Her Critics (Studies in English and American Literature, Linguistics, and Culture). Hardcover. 1993.

Knapp, Bettina Liebowitz. Anais Nin (Modern Literature Monographs).

Miller, Henry and Gunther Stuhlman, editor. Letters to Anais Nin. 

Miller, Henry. Tropic of Cancer. Anais Nin, preface. Paperback. 1987.

Nalbantian, Suzanne. Aesthetic Autobiography: From Life to Art in Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Anais Nin. Paperback. 1997. 

Nalbantian, Suzanne. Anais Nin: Literary Perspectives. Hardcover. 1997.

Podnieks, Elizabeth. Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Anais Nin. Hardcover. 2000.

Rainer, Tristine. The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity. Preface by Anais Nin.

Richard-Allerdyce, Diane. Anais Nin and the Remaking of Self: Gender, Modernism and Narrative Identity. Hardcover. 1997.

Scholar, Nancy. Anais Nin (Twayne's United States Authors Series).

Spencer, Sharon. Collage of Dreams: The Writings of Anais Nin.