“What can I do with my happiness? How can I keep it, conceal it, bury it where I may never lose it? I want to kneel as it falls over me like rain, gather it up with lace and silk, and press it over myself again.”
― Anaïs Nin,
I read a paperback version of Henry and June.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
First Published: 1986
Pages: 273 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 2 hrs and 51 mins
Blurb by the publisher:
Drawn from the original, uncensored journals of Anais Nin, “Henry and June” is an intimate account of a woman’s sexual awakening. It covers a single momentous year – from late 1931 to the end of 1932 – during Nin’s life in Paris, when she met Henry Miller and his wife, June. She fell in love with June’s beauty and Henry’s writing and, soon after June’s departure for New York, began a fiery affair with Henry, which liberated her sexually and morally but undermined her marriage and led her into psychoanalysis. One question dominated her thoughts: what would happen when June returned to Paris? That event took place in October 1932, leaving Nin trapped between two loves
– Henry and June.
"A woman with so much love to give, and so much lust to share, makes for interesting reading."
When I first started my Exploring Erotica project, Anaïs Nin was one of the authors that I first came across. I read Delta of Venus, which I really enjoyed. And when I was recommended Henry and June by a good friend, I just had to check it out.
There’s no doubt about the fact that Nin writes beautifully. She has a very straightforwardness combined with poetic writing that I find quite fascinating. Knowing that this was first written in the early 30s makes it even more special.
This is a story of sexual awakening, and I found Nin’s journey to be a very interesting one. A woman with so much love to give, and so much lust to share, makes for interesting reading. Her emotions are so raw and unfiltered that it’s easy to feel some of her frustration and her love/lust.
That being said, when I got through the first 100 pages I found my mind to often drift afterwards when reading it. The beautiful writing is still very much present, but it does get a bit repetitive. It goes back and forth, and then back again multiple times. It sometimes felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again, just written in a slightly different way.
Because I found myself drifting, it took me way longer than normal to finish this book, even though it’s quite a short one. I enjoyed Nin’s openness, her boldness and fascinating mindset around open relationships. I love her writing style, but this memoir fell a bit short when it came to grabbing my attention unfortunately.
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