A young man arrives in England in the 1930s, knowing few words of the English language. Yet, two years later he writes a successful English book on Chinese art, and within the following decade publishes more than a dozen others. This is the true story of Chiang Yee, a renowned writer, artist, and worldwide traveler, best known for the Silent Traveller series--stories of England, the United States, Ireland, France, Japan, and Australia--all written in his humorous, delightfully refreshing, and enlightening literary style.
This biography is more than a recounting of extraordinary accomplishments. It also embraces the transatlantic life experience of Yee who traveled from China to England and then on to the United States, where he taught at Columbia University, to his return to China in 1975, after a forty-two year absence. Interwoven is the history of the communist revolution in China; the battle to save England during World War II; the United States during the McCarthy red scare era; and, eventually, thawing Sino-American relations in the 1970s. Da Zheng uncovers Yee's encounters with racial exclusion and immigration laws, displacement, exile, and the pain and losses he endured hidden behind a popular public image.
Mirages opens at the dawn of World War II, when Anaïs 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, Anaïs 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 Anaïs 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.
The incestuous affair between the writer Anaïs Nin and her father, the pianist-composer Joaquín Nin, is well documented in the volume of her unexpurgated diary published under the title Incest. What has been missing from that account is Joaquín’s point of view. Reunited: The Correspondence of Anaïs and Joaquín Nin, 1933–1940 presents more than one hundred intimate communications between these two artistic geniuses, revealing not only the dynamics of their complex relationship but also why Anaïs spent her life in a never-ending battle to feel loved, appreciated, and understood.
Reunited collects the correspondence between Anaïs and Joaquín just before, during, and after the affair, which commenced in 1933, twenty years after he had abandoned his ten-year-old daughter and the rest of his family. These letters were long believed to have been destroyed and lost to history. In 2006, however, a folder containing Joaquín’s original letters to his daughter was discovered in Anaïs’s Los Angeles home, along with a second folder of her letters to him. Together, these letters tell the story of an absent father’s attempt to reconnect with his adult daughter and how that rapprochement quickly turned into an illicit sexual relationship.
Anaïs Nin made her reputation through publication of her edited diaries and the carefully constructed persona they presented. It was not until decades later, when the diaries were published in their unexpurgated form, that the world began to learn the full details of Nin’s fascinating life and the emotional and literary high-wire acts she committed both in documenting it and in defying the mores of 1950s America. Trapeze begins where the previous volume, Mirages, left off: when Nin met Rupert Pole, the young man who became not only her lover but later her husband in a bigamous marriage.
It marks the start of what Nin came to call her “trapeze life,” swinging between her longtime husband, Hugh Guiler, in New York and her lover, Pole, in California, a perilous lifestyle she continued until her death in 1977. Today what Nin did seems impossible, and what she sought perhaps was impossible: to find harmony and completeness within a split existence. It is a story of daring and genius, love and pain, largely unknown until now.
Anaïs Nin, the diarist, novelist, and provocateur, occupied a singular space in twentieth-century culture, not only as a literary figure and voice of female sexual liberation but as a celebrity and symbol of shifting social mores in postwar America. Before Madonna and her many imitators, there was Nin; yet, until now, there has been no major study of Nin as a celebrity figure.
In Writing an Icon, Anita Jarczok reveals how Nin carefully crafted her literary and public personae, which she rewrote and restyled to suit her needs and desires. When the first volume of her diary was published in 1966, Nin became a celebrity, notorious beyond the artistic and literary circles in which she previously had operated. Jarczok examines the ways in which the American media appropriated and deconstructed Nin and analyzes the influence of Nin’s guiding hand in their construction of her public persona.
The key to understanding Nin’s celebrity in its shifting forms, Jarczok contends, is the Diary itself, the principal vehicle through which her image has been mediated. Combining the perspectives of narrative and cultural studies, Jarczok traces the trajectory of Nin’s celebrity, the reception of her writings. The result is an innovative investigation of the dynamic relationships of Nin’s writing, identity, public image, and consumer culture.