21 feb 1903
Anais Nin was an author and essayist born to Cuban parents in Paris in 1903. She was raised in France, and spent some time living in both Spain and Cuba, but spent most of her life in the United States. She was a dedicated journal writer, with more than 60 years of her life being carefully recorded in diaries, starting from when she was 11 years old. She was also the author of novels, criticism, short stories, essays and erotic fiction. Although she achieved some success during her lifetime, a large proportion of her work was published after her death in 1977.
Although she wrote prolifically throughout her whole life, it was not until the feminist movement hit its peak in the 1960s that Nin’s work began to be regarded with a degree of critical acclaim. She was almost completely ignored as a writer before 1960 and a feminist reading of her journals and books began to take place. Today she is one of the most important examples of early feminist writing and her work has inspired a huge number of 20th century women by challenging the gender roles defined by society.
After her journals, Anais Nin’s most well-known work is a book called Delta of Venus; a book of 15 short stories which was published after her death in 1977. It written 30 years early for a private collector of erotic fiction. It is almost unique in its exploration of patriarchal dominance, sexuality, incest, paedophilia and what it means to be masculine. She was extremely forward thinking for its time.