Best known for her diary, Anais Nin was also the author of several novels, short fiction, and a book on D.H. Lawrence. As a woman who made a career of her aesthetic femininity, her works helped shape the future of gender studies and feminist literary criticism. Her writings have challenged numerous critics, while her life has been equally fascinating. The selections in this book represent the critical response to her works, from her first efforts in the 1930s to the posthumous publication of unexpurgated diary volumes beginning in 1986, including the views of major biographers and contemporary critics. Born in France in 1903, Anais Nin spent her life in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles, where she died in 1977. Like the chaotic passages of her life, her writings have not easily fallen into neat categories. Though she published several novels, short fiction, and erotica, she is best known for her enormous and captivating diary, which sometimes commanded more attention in unpublished form than her published fiction did. As a woman writer who made a career of her aesthetic femininity, her works helped shape the future of gender studies and feminist literary criticism.The selections in this volume trace the critical response to Nin's works from the 1930s to the present. Though Nin died nearly 20 years ago, the posthumous publication of several of her works, including three unexpurgated diary volumes, has prompted renewed critical attention, including two major biographical studies. Because biographical concerns dominate critical studies, this book contains not only sections on her work in general, her short fiction, and her novels, but also special sections on her monumental diary and on her public and private selves. Within each section, critical articles and reviews are reprinted chronologically, so that the reader may trace the response to Nin over time. A bibliography lists works for further consultation, and an introductory essay explores the direction of critical attention to her writings.
The Critical Response to Anais Nin
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