Stella, a little-known work written by Anais Nin in 1945, is an examination of self-discovery and self-worth, a theme central to much of her fiction. The title character is loosely based on actress Luise Rainer, with whom Nin had a contentious friendship. Stella is faced with the contrast between her love affair with a public that adores her for her film roles, and her personal inability to find human love. The men in Stella’s life include an ex-husband, a Don Juan lover, and a father who is not unlike Nin’s own.
It is ironic that Stella is offered a role in The Orphan, since the novella itself is somewhat of a motherless child. Nin experimented placing it in her 1946 Dutton edition of Ladders to Fire, and eventually in Swallow’s 1961 edition of Winter of Artifice, where remains today, as well as in Sky Blue Press’s anthology The Portable Anais Nin. Nin herself expressed the difficulty of finding Stella a home, so it only makes sense to offer it as a single title for the first time.
According to critic Oliver Evans, who compares Stella to D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover, says the novella “remains one of [Nin’s] most thoroughly realized performances. She has taken the timeworn theme of the possessive female and examined it through her microscopic lens from new and interesting angles.”
|Publisher:||Sky Blue Press LLC|
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About the Author
Anais Nin (1903-1977) was born in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, near Paris, and was the daughter of a renowned pianist and composer, Joaquin Nin. Abandoned by her father in 1913, she and her family traveled to New York, where she began her now famous diary, comprised of some 35,000 pages over a period of six decades. When the first volume of 'The Diary of Anais Nin' was published in 1966, it began Nin's meteoric surge to fame. However, often overlooked are the works of fiction she created, beginning with 'The House of Incest' in 1936, which was followed by a then-banned edition of a collection of novellas under the title 'The Winter of Artifice.' This original edition has been republished for the first time in 2007. Perhaps Nin's most acclaimed fiction is the series of short stories in 'Under a Glass Bell,' which she self-published in New York during the 1940s when no commercial publisher would take the risk. She then began a series of novels that were interconnected and finally collected into one volume entitled 'Cities of the Interior.' Her final novel was 'Collages,' about which Henry Miller said, "Even the finest collages fall apart with time; these will not." Anais Nin was one of the 20th century's most innovative and compelling artist, and now her works are finally appearing in digital format.