Mirages : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939-1947

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Mirages opens at the dawn of World War II, when Anais Nin fled Paris, where she lived for fifteen years with her husband, banker Hugh Guiler, and ends in 1947 when she meets the man who would be "the One," the lover who would satisfy her insatiable hunger for connection. In the middle looms a period Nin describes as "hell," during which she experiences a kind of erotic madness, a delirium that fuels her search for love. As a child suffering abandonment by her father, Anais wrote, "Close your eyes to the ugly things," and, against a horrifying backdrop of war and death, Nin combats the world's darkness with her own search for light.

Mirages collects, for the first time, the story that was cut from all of Nin's other published diaries, particularly volumes 3 and 4 of The Diary of Anais Nin, which cover the same time period. It is the long-awaited successor to the previous unexpurgated diaries Henry and June, Incest, Fire, and Nearer the Moon. Mirages answers the questions Nin readers have been asking for decades: What led to the demise of Nin's love affair with Henry Miller? Just how troubled was her marriage to Hugh Guiler? What is the story behind Nin's "children," the effeminate young men she seemed to collect at will? Mirages is a deeply personal story of heartbreak, despair, desperation, carnage, and deep mourning, but it is also one of courage, persistence, evolution, and redemption that reaches beyond the personal to the universal.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 440 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 43.18mm | 771.1g
  • Ohio University Press
  • Swallow Press
  • Ohio, United States
  • English
  • Unexpurgated
  • Unexpurgated
  • 080401146X
  • 9780804011464
  • 492,497

Review quote

"The celebrated diarist, novelist and electric personality reappears with all the fire of her eroticism in pages untouched by a Bowdler or a Puritan... Readers will find Nin a most entertaining companion-her multiple simultaneous relationships with men, her gleefully graphic descriptions of sex acts... In one late entry, Nin complains, mildly: 'My world is so large I get lost in it'; readers will do the same-and gratefully so." -Kirkus Reviews "Anais Nin (1903-1977) is not only one of history's most dedicated diarists, but also a vocal expounder of the idea that keeping a diary enhances your creativity... Mirages (is) revelatory in its entirety." -Brain Pickings "Exquisitely nuanced, ornate, delicate and raw, endlessly evocative and provocative. Nobody does it better." -Washington Independent Review of Books "(Mirages)...is a highly personal account of Nin's inner life and relationships..." -Choice "The reader benefits from (Nin's) thoughtful, unique perspective on America in the 1940s, as she reinvented herself as a first-class feminist, entrepreneur and a woman with an incredibly erotic daily life, told through sensual and graphic details... Anais Nin's diaries have become the standard for personal diaries only a few writers could match. The curious reader, seeking graphic details of Nin's encounters with intimacy won't be disappointed." -Blog Critics "This fifth in a series of unexpurgated diary volumes by American novelist and short story and erotica writer Nin (House of Incest; Delta of Venus) covers a period longer than any other volume to date... Nin's life was steeped in secrecy, lies, passion, longing, and introspection, perhaps the most so during this period. Of the unexpurgated diary volumes thus far, this one benefits the most from full disclosure, illustrating the greater extents of Nin's fragility and ferocity and revealing dimensions of the writer that deeply enrich the reading of her work."- Library Journal "The fifth volume in the unexpurgated series that is gradually replacing the earlier, sanitized edition of Nin's famous diary begins with her 1939 flight from war-shadowed Paris to New York and tracks her struggles to adapt to America and reconfigure her writing life... Nin-calculating, theatrical, and prodigious-provides cascading insights into the traumas that made her a 'demon of intensity' determined to turn her life into a literary work of unique psychological revelation."- Booklist
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About Anais Nin

Anais Nin was born in Paris in 1903. At age eleven, she began her lifelong practice of keeping a diary, the literary form that would make her famous. She moved to the United States during her youth but returned to France after her marriage to Hugh P. Guiler. During her time in France she met the writer Henry Miller, who became her lover and an important figure in her first published diary. In Paris during the 1930s she also began therapy with Otto Rank, a disciple of Sigmund Freud, and this therapeutic relationship was a significant influence on her life and work. Nin returned to America in 1939, establishing friendships with a number of writers and artists. She developed a small but devoted following as a fiction writer, though her work often defied genre conventions and became known for its innovation and experimentation. But it was the publication of her diaries, spread over many volumes, that made Nin a major literary figure in the late 1960s and 1970s. Deeply reflective, lyrical, and erotic, the diaries were embraced by numerous readers for their insight into a fascinating woman and the many relationships she developed over her lifetime. Paul Herron is the editor and founder of Sky Blue Press.
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Rating details

111 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 45% (50)
4 28% (31)
3 21% (23)
2 4% (4)
1 3% (3)
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