Book Review: Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies by Léonie Bischoff

Diarist and author Anaïs Nin lived an extraordinary and controversial life. From Henry Miller to John Steinbeck, she had many lovers and two husbands, one on each coast. Her frank writing explored femininity, sexuality, and her feelings of ennui about living a conventional life.

Certain key moments from Nin’s life are documented in the beautiful and supple new graphic novel Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies by cartoonist Léonie Bischoff. The reader becomes an intimate witness to Nin’s loves, her life, and her artistic process. But Bischoff also includes one of the most controversial relationships of Nin’s life, which was her incestual relationship with her father. While this is a well-known aspect of her life, it is still a relationship that is difficult to read about and to understand.

This graphic novel is not just a select biography, but a gorgeous work of art. Bischoff chose gentle and soft colors for the drawn panels. The work is flowing and expresses the femininity of Nin and are stunning interpretations of Nin’s inner and outer life.

As a fan of Anaïs Nin, I was excited to read this work and I devoured this book. However, Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies it is also a work to be revisited and savored. It is a great addition to the shelves of readers who are already fans of Nin’s work, but this graphic novel will also be a good introduction for those who are not familiar with Nin.

Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies by Léonie Bischoff is available now wherever you purchase your books.

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Darcy Staniforth

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