Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A to Z: Letters to Dead Writers: Anaïs Nin

This month I'm writing one post for each letter of the alphabet, all on the theme of "Letters to Dead Writers." You can see my theme reveal post here and learn more about the blogging challenge here.

Today's writer is Anaïs Nin
Dear Ms. Nin,

I found your work in college, as many young women do.

Newly freed from my parents supervision and the censorship of high school libraries, where work of a sexual nature was banned if it ever even found a way onto the shelves at all, I was instantly fascinated by your frank and explicit writing about eroticism.

I read your Delta of Venus alongside Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn. The movie Henry and June came out during my college years, and cemented my interest in you, your life, and your work. You me a vocabulary for feelings that were new to me, and a glimpse into a bohemian experimenting sort of life I would not have the courage to live myself.

You were so sexy and so smart at the same time, and it was important for me to learn that a woman could be both of those things at once.

It wasn't all just about sex, though. You had such beautiful language, and in the midst of your stories, there were such gems of philosophy and psychology, such deep understandings of the motivations of human beings. Your journals were fascinating for their insights as well as for the life they shared.

Thank you for sharing your life with me. I'm so sorry it ended in pain. F*ck cancer.


  1. What a great idea you have! I have never read any of her works, but this letter you've written tells me the kinds of things to expect. I think that's a great way to introduce authors. Well done. Found you through AtoZ.
    Doesn't Speak Klingon

    1. Thanks! I've really enjoyed writing these fan letters :-)

  2. This is very moving. Nin is probably the biggest influence on my work as an author. While I don't write the kind of poetic prose Nin advocated (I tried and didn't do well with it), Nin's work did encourage me to experiment with words (which I still do) and expand my vocabulary. Her concept of psychological reality is also the crux of all my work.

    Tam May

    1. Hi Tam! I hoped you'd stop by. I thought of you when I chose Anaïs Nin for this list!