Peer Review: Anaïs NinLaura Waddell on Anaïs Nin: the erotic novelist and patron saint of over-sharers.

Peer Review: Anaïs NinLaura Waddell on Anaïs Nin: the erotic novelist and patron saint of over-sharers.

When choosing a subject for my high school English dissertation, it was with glee that I paired Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus with D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, intent on shocking by writing on literary eroticism. I’d been put onto Women in Love by a gay friend a couple of years older. On a day we played hooky from school, he showed me the well-used VHS film adaptation, kept hidden from his father, and one thing led to another—as subversive art does. From an internet search of erotic literature, I plucked Anaïs Nin and began reading.

Her prose elicited such extremes of feelings: It was an experience as stimulating as rolling in a bed of velvet. In Anaïs’ writing, sensuality gushes everywhere, spilling over. As a hormonal 14-year-old prone to weeping under the covers at midni...

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