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The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1914-1920

(The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A charming and amusing view of Nin's early life, from age eleven to seventeen; the self-portrait of an innocent girl who is transformed, through her own insights, into an enlightened young woman. "An enchanting portrait of a girl's constant search for herself" (Library Journal). Preface by Joaquin Nin-Culmell; Index; photographs and drawings. Translated by Jean L. Sherman. ...more
Paperback, 518 pages
Published March 10th 1980 by Mariner Books (first published 1978)
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4.16  · 
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 ·  378 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Anais Nin's writing always makes me happy sigh, infused as it is with a certain otherworldliness and a beauty separate from whatever one may think of the woman herself. (Even in her own diaries, it's clear that Nin must have been a very difficult woman to deal with. And that's putting it mildly.) In short, I'm very much a fan of all her work, but while I'd love to recommend Linotte to everyone, I can't. I'm too aware that this is really a book that will only hold the attention of like-minded fan ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is really wonderful. In a world where we have endless amounts of young adult fiction, in which grown women trying to mimic the thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl, it's refreshing to read the true thoughts and feelings of an actual teenage girl. She might be a precocious one, but her diary is so genuine, so passionate, so beautifully written that I found it inspiring.

Anaïs Nin, A.N. or Linotte, as she nicknames herself in the book, is a French-Cuban immigrant that came to New York
Ruth E. R.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ruth by: Brookfield Public Library
Actual diary of 13-year-old creative writer from the 1910s, whose family immigrated from France to NYC. I had never heard of Anais Nin when I discovered this book browsing through the Brookfield Public Library. Anne Frank's diary had been very special to me, as a person and as an adolescent writer, so this was a happy discovery. I marveled at her descriptions of life as a Catholic youth from an extended artistic family in New York City during the early 20th century. She meticulously listed how m ...more
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Anaïs Nin clearly has a passion for writing. Her first diaries evoke detailed images of what it was like for her as a teenage immigrant to America. Despite being written in French and subsequently translated into English, her ability to express herself (in two languages) is phenomenal. Her words flow and the minute details of her life are rarely boring. Her insights into other people and the nature of life are much deeper than one would expect for a person of her age. Many of her observations sh ...more
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anais nin fans
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh, I LOVE Anais Nin! This is a must for any Anais Nin fan. I wish I had started with this years ago, to see her progression. It is fantastically written; even as a young teenager, she is an excellent and captivating writing. You can see her skill and it was not boring by any means; her life has an adventure to it, a novel-like quality like her later diaries do. (What happens next with Prince Marcus? Will Papa come over? What will happen with Maman's business?) I highly recommend this fabulous d ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Very interesting to read such young thoughts from Anais Nin, whose adult impressions have been such a big part of my adult life. I liked seeing her development and am excited to read more of the early diaries of her late teens and early twenties, as I have only read the ones starting in the early 1930s, about ten years after this one. At times this volume could be a bit repetitive, but that makes sense given that it is the day to day of a child's life.
sheena d.
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-oslo
What's a polite way to admit that these diary entries are, you know, kind of boring? What did you expect? Anaïs was just a baby. Still, pretty exciting moment there when she realises she is no longer ugly. I'll stop this review now, because as she notes, "people who complain are good for nothing in the world. And pessimists are monsters!"
Leslie ellis
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Those of you who do not know who she is, for one she was a lover of Henry Miller.
Henry Miller, well hmmm... Wikipedia him.

She started her diary early, age eleven.
This is a great prerequisite to foundate her latter writings.
I'm so excited!

I'm enraptured at the moment and am deleting all current readings. Yeah.

Julia DelSignore Peoples
Not terribly interesting, but I realize she was very young when writing this. Considering her age at the time of writing, it's fairly well written. I am willing to read another book of her when she is older.
Sarah Greenman
Feb 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Voyeurism at its best. A study on the psychological landscape of young womanhood. Nin is a born writer - even these diary entries, some as early as nine years old, are concise, beautifully detailed and filled with piercing vulnerability.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Her thoughts are astoundingly deep and mature, even when she was only 11. There's a bit of jealousy that goes along with reading this, be warned, a lot of looking back at yourself at these ages and regretting that you weren't as intelligent, as talented, as thoughtful as she was.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure where I heard about Anais Nin but I wanted to read her journals. I couldn't bring myself to start in the middle of her life, so I found her earliest journals... and was pretty much bored silly.
Katy White
Reading the earliest diaries of Ms. Nin was enjoyable. I would recommend them only to fanatics, however.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am having such a hard time putting this book down. Its amazing that an 11 year old girl can write something so beautiful.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
She fascinates me. That is all.
Claudia Felske
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need to re-read this - formative.
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French-born novelist, passionate eroticist and short story writer, who gained international fame with her journals. Spanning the years from 1931 to 1974, they give an account of one woman's voyage of self-discovery. "It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all." (from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. I, 1966)

Anaïs Nin was largely ignored until the 1960s. Today she is

Other books in the series

The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin (4 books)
  • The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1920-1923
  • The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1923-1927
  • The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1927-1931