A Swallow Press Book
By Anaïs Nin
Children of the Albatross is divided into two sections: “The Sealed Room” focuses on the dancer Djuna and a set of characters, chiefly male, who surround her; “The Café” brings together a cast of characters already familiar to Nin’s readers, but it is their meeting place that is the focal point of the story.
As always, in Children of the Albatross, Nin’s writing is inseparable from her life. From Djuna’s story, told in “The Sealed Room” through hints and allusions, hazy in their details and chronology, the most important event to emerge is her father’s desertion (like Nin’s) when she was sixteen. By rejecting realistic writing for the experience and intuitions she drew from her diary, Nin was able to forge a novelistic style emphasizing free association, spontaneity, and improvisation, a technique that finds its parallel in the jazz music performed at the café where Nin’s characters meet.
Anaïs Nin (1903–1977) is an iconic literary figure and one of the most notable experimental writers of the twentieth century. As one of the first women to explore female erotica, Nin revealed the inner desires of her characters in a way that made her works a touchstone for later feminist writers. Swallow Press is the premier US publisher of books by and about Nin. More info →
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After struggling with her own press and printing her own works, Anaïs Nin succeeded in getting Ladders to Fire accepted and published in 1946. This recognition marked a milestone in her life and career. Admitted into the fellowship of American novelists, she maintained the individuality of her literary style.
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