In lithe, sensuous colored pencils, this international prize-winning, impressionistic graphic biography traces the life, the affairs, and the artistic process of Anais Nin, one of the best-known authors of women’s erotica in the 1920s and ‘30s.
Anais Nin, the author of works such as Delta of Venus and House of Incest, is the patron saint of taboo-breaking pop culture sexual iconoclasts. Not only is she an inspiration for contemporary figures such as Madonna, but her oeuvre, which encompasses erotica, autobiography, essays, short fiction, novels, and much more, has been adapted into film (Henry and June), television (Little Birds), and other media.
The cartoonist Léonie Bischoff traces the life of the prolific writer in this lushly colored graphic novel. It begins with Nin struggling to reconcile the man she married (who had artistic aspirations) with the banker she finds herself living with in the Parisian suburbs. Soon, her obsession with June Miller leads to inspiration. Nin's life and art, the truth and fiction, are further intertwined as she recounts her many sexual liaisons including those with Henry Miller (whom she and her husband subsidize so he can write the controversial Tropic of Cancer), her psychoanalysts, and even her father. Although Bischoff’s drawing is largely representational, she occasionally depicts Nin’s sexual experiences in scenes as surreal as Nin’s own written portrayal of them.
About the Author
Swiss cartoonist Léonie Bischoff received a diploma in comics from the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels, where she still lives. Anais Nin: A Sea of Lies, her 2020 graphic biography, won the Audience Favorite prize at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. Other works include Hoodoo Darlin’, Princess Suplex, and more. She is a member of the Comics Creators Against Sexism Collective.
Jenna Allen is a freelance translator based in Colorado.
A nuanced, gorgeously drawn portrait of a beautifully complicated figure. The stunning visuals elevate the titillating but respectful narrative. — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
In this gorgeously illustrated graphic biography... Bischoff sets a high standard by brilliantly capturing Nin’s creation of herself as an artist. She not only whets the appetite of anyone who wants to delve further into Nin’s work, but her pages also shimmer with the artistic abandon Nin sought in her own work. — World Literature Today
[This] beautiful and supple new graphic novel... is a gorgeous work of art. The work is flowing and expresses the femininity of Nin and are stunning interpretations of Nin’s inner and outer life. — Cinema Sentries
With its swirling lines and volcanic emotions, Bischoff's sumptuously drawn book echoes the oceanic style Nin used to render the chaos of her inner life. — Star Tribune
A dazzling portrait of a complicated writer. — Kirkus Reviews
The writer’s exploration of her sensual inner life — 'few know how many women live inside of me,' she says — is gorgeously rendered by Bischoff in rich, undulating, jewel-toned color pencil illustrations. — The New York Times
Using breath-taking colored pencils, this prize-winning biography traces the life of Anaïs Nin, as her sexual liaisons and a building obsession with passion increasingly influence her writing. — ALA
An astonishingly beautiful book. Bischoff’s pages are elegant, especially in their eroticism, which is as frank as it is flowered. But even the smaller details dazzle: Clouds gather in the sky like marvelous plaits of hair, and Nin’s coiffure sometimes rises like heavens. — Washington Post
A striking portrait of this chameleon-like woman with light and elegant lines. — Telerama
A seven-years-in-the-making, no-holds-barred story of Nin’s adventures and quest for personal freedom. — Mediapart
Bischoff vividly dramatizes the psyche and the fantasies of Nin, rendering superb graphic metaphors in stunning colors. — Les Inrocks