Anaïs Nin (Spanish pronunciation: [anaˈiz ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban-French-Danish parents in France, where she was also raised.
Anaïs Nin was born in Neuilly, France, to artistic parents. Her father, Joaquín Nin, was a Cuban pianist and composer, when he met her mother Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer of French and Danish descent who was working in Cuba. Her father's grandfather had fled France during the Revolution, going first to Saint-Domingue, then New Orleans, and finally to Cuba where he helped build that country's first railway.
Nin was raised a Roman Catholic and spent her childhood and early life in Europe. After her parents separated, her mother moved Anaïs and her two brothers, Thorvald Nin and Joaquin Nin-Culmell, to Barcelona, and then to New York City. According to her diaries, Volume One, 1931–1934, Nin abandoned formal schooling at the age of sixteen years and later began working as an artist's model. After being in America for several years, Nin had forgotten how to speak Spanish, but retained her French and became fluent in English.
She spent some time in Spain and Cuba but lived most of her life in the United States where she became an established author. She published journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.
The explosion of the feminist movement in the 1960s gave feminist perspectives on Nin's writings of the past twenty years, which made Nin a popular lecturer at various universities; contrarily, Nin disassociated herself from the political activism of the movement.
In 1973 Anaïs Nin received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the United States National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.
Anais Nin died in Los Angeles, California on January 14, 1977 after a three-year battle with cancer. Her body was cremated, and her ashes were scattered over Santa Monica Bay in Mermaid Cove. Her first husband, Hugh Guiler, died in 1985, and his ashes were scattered in the cove as well. Rupert Pole was named Nin's literary executor, and he arranged to have new unexpurgated editions of Nin's books and diaries published between 1985 and his death in 2006.
Philip Kaufman directed the 1990 film Henry and June based on Nin's novel Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin. She was portrayed in the film by Maria de Medeiros.