Ladders to Fire: Cities of the Interior

Overview

Anaïs Nin’s Ladders to Fire interweaves the stories of several women, each emotionally inhibited in her own way: through self-doubt, fear, guilt, moral drift, and distrust. The novel follows their inner struggles to overcome these barriers to happiness and wholeness. The author’s own experiences, as recorded in her famous diaries, supplied the raw material for her fiction. It was her intuitive, experimental, and always original style that transformed one into the other. Nin herself memorably claimed that “it was ...

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Overview

Anaïs Nin’s Ladders to Fire interweaves the stories of several women, each emotionally inhibited in her own way: through self-doubt, fear, guilt, moral drift, and distrust. The novel follows their inner struggles to overcome these barriers to happiness and wholeness. The author’s own experiences, as recorded in her famous diaries, supplied the raw material for her fiction. It was her intuitive, experimental, and always original style that transformed one into the other. Nin herself memorably claimed that “it was the fiction writer who edited the diary.”

Ladders to Fire explores the erotic attachments of four young women. Nin described it as a "woman's struggle to understand her own nature." It began a five-volume "continuous novel," Cities of the Interior, which includes Children of the Albatross (1947), The Four-Chambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954), and Solar Barque (1959).Set in the pre-war, expatriate Paris of Henry Miller, this novel — which shocked Nin’s contemporaries — draws its inspiration from her confessional diaries. Although Nin found in her diaries a profound mode of self-creation and confession, she could not reveal this intimate record of her own experiences during her lifetime. Instead, she turned to fiction, where her stories and novels became artistic “distillations” of her secret diaries. This 1995 reissue of of the 1946 novel Ladders to Fire has a new cover and foreword.

This Swallow Press reissue of Ladders to Fire includes a new introduction by Nin scholar Benjamin Franklin V, as well as Gunther Stuhlmann’s classic foreword to the 1995 edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Anaïs Nin writes sensitively, with psychological training as well as insight…. She has a subcutaneous interest in her characters and Lawrence’s sixth sense.”
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804001816
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1959
  • Series: Cities of the Interior Ser.
  • Edition description: 1st Swallow Press/Ohio University Press
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 1,422,671
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Anais Nin—the celebrated novelst, diarist, and short story writer—was born in France and spent her childhood in various parts of Europe and in New York. Nin returned to New York just before the outbreak of World War II, and she spent the rest of her life living there and in Paris and Los Angeles. Her work is characterized by a interest in the subconscious. Her five novels in the Cities of the Interior series focus on different female types and follow their lives through lovers, art, and analysis. In 1973 Nin received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.

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