Monthly Archives: August 2013

Anaïs Nin Last Days: A Memoir by Barbara Kraft is Now in Paperback

A friend is a present you give yourself.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
—Anaïs Nin

Anaïs would have loved this elegant presentation of her Last Days by Barbara Kraft.

Please be sure and order from this link on Amazon. Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is a perfect gift to give to a friend, stunning gift wrap is available through Amazon. Those who have followed our web site since we created the beautiful pre-Google spacious (non ad or banner) white page site, Thinking of Anaïs Nin, will recognize the lovely photo by Valerie Harms. Kudos to designer Liz Des Rochers for creating such a gorgeous evocative cover that captures the magic of this luminous book

To order this beautiful paperback version of Last Days please buy on Amazon at this link.

It’a important to purchase through this link if you wish to post a review on Amazon. Your review will have more weight if you are writing a review as an actual buyer of the book.


Los Angeles, CA. “I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I  witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.”

Thus begins Barbara Kraft’s memoir, ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS (Pegasus Books;August 2013; $14.95 U.S.).  With her sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose, Kraft has captured the humanity, mortality, and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures.

Anaïs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student.  Quickly, the two became intimate friends at the moment  when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult  divorce.  The circumstances created an environment of interdependency: Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and untiring part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of life.

As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs:The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin … This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”Of all the young women I’ve worked with you are the one most like me,” Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.”

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer.

“I can’t tell the world about my illness, Barbara, but you can, and I want the world to know. I Because of the overwhelming reality of cancer, Anaïs Nin was stripped down to her bare essence, which Kraft captures expertly. She poignantly records not only Nin’s stubborn grip on life, but also the heroic efforts that Rupert Pole, Nin’s West Coast lover, made to shield her from the inevitable pain, agony, and humiliation associated with the disease. It is a monumental tribute to not only those fighting for their lives, but also the forgotten ones—the caregivers.

As Kraft writes a few days before she died, Anaïs whispered her final dream into my ear… “I dreamed that I had all my dresses and capes laid out on the floor and that we were going to have them copied exactly for you so that when I am well we can go out together as twins…. But someone told me that was foolish because I could not get up and go out and that we could not be The very personal events in this book will resonate with anyone who has gone through terminal disease or knows someone who has. So, like Nin herself, the raw reality of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days becomes symbolic, mythical, and universally inspirational.

Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is available in bookstores and on line at Amazon

Barbara Kraft is the author of  Anaïs Nin: The Last Days (2013) and The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini: The latter was  published in 1976 with a preface by Anaïs Nin, and laudatory comment by  the late Carlos Baker, definitive biographer of Ernest Hemingway and Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton.  Kraft has also written several radio plays including a play on the legendary muse of William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne. The play won an Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama as written and directed by KPFK’s Barbara Kraft.” Kraft has written several libretti including The Dream

Tunnel: A Musical Journey through America, commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (with Kraft as narrator) for the 1976 Bicentennial.   The Los Angeles Times wrote of her libretto for The Innocents: The Witch Trial at Salem “….Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace.  Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria.”

A former reporter for Time, and contributor to Washington Post, People, USA Today, and Architectural Digest, Kraft’s work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review and Columbia Magazine, et al; and among the many radio programs she has hosted and produced is Transforming OC, a two-part documentary for KCRW (the award winning Santa Monica-based NPR station) on the 2006 opening of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Kraft is a Registered Reader at the Huntington Library in San Marino and lives and writes in Los Angeles, California. Visit her website.


Inspiration and Memoir: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Valerie Harms, one of the founders of this site, whose photo of Nin graces our first page, has written a new book. Your Soul at a Crossroads.

She is the author of nine books & numerous articles, a creativity counselor, and an independent Jung scholar, she has led writing and depth psychology workshops at centers around the country, plus Canada and Greece. A graduate of Smith College, for seven years she was science editor at the National Audubon Society in NYC. Currently she lives in Bozeman, Montana and edits Distinctly Montana Magazine.

We are providing the link directly to Amazon in the event you wish to write a review. Then purchase your gift copies at your favorite local bookstore!

Your Soul at a Crossroads ~ with steps you can take not to lose it

Published by Magic Circle Press

This book enables readers to confidently choose the right path when up against many choices in their lives. It provides exercises on relationships, work, and health that uncover the spiritual wisdom rooted in the individual’s soul. It offers both inspiration and memoir.

Everyone has difficulties — some inordinately hard — but all essential to their fate. We struggle in relationships, work, health, and with how to live meaningfully. Sometimes we’re high, sometimes low, always in flux, but when we die to one way of life, we are reborn into another. This book aims at helping you find renewal and transcendence after life delivers a blow.

Find the meaning of your life within you, not out there somewhere, by using the techniques that have aided me and others for decades. If you are confused about what your next steps are and you try these exercises, they will give you fresh courage and insights to bring into your life…and world.

Contents cover the essence of timing, dialogue guidelines, examples from the author’s life and others’, dreams, death, and evocative rebirth symbols and myths.

From readers & workshop participants:

“I am simply swept away with admiration for your approach. What you offer is a new paradigm for how I think emotionally. Thank you for your deeply challenging work.”

“Your message is so healing.”

“I just cannot tell you how much you have helped me.”

“Harms’ book was miracle for me!”


Why do you write about using a notebook as former spiritual seekers retreated to caves?
Finding your new path takes time to undergo change and renewal. The notebook is a place for solitude and writing out the exercises with full-bore emotional intensity.

What is depth psychology?
Emphasizing the images, ideas, and intuitions that come to consciousness when the mind is quiet.

What is the purpose of writing a dialogue on paper?
By considering the “other” in a relationship or work project you get out of the circular thinking of one’s own mind. Writing from one heart to another evokes words that may never be spoken. Subtle awarenesses surface from the unconscious.

Name 3 ways to work with dreams:
Find the story, ponder your associations, honor the meaning.

What are some symbols of renewal?
Eggs, seeds, cave as container, fire (heat of emotional pressure that leads to transformation), darkness)

Thank you Marie Popova: For Letting Us Pick Your Brain

My friend Valerie Harms just told me that Publisher’s Weekly has chosen the Graphic Canon Volume 3 as the most beautiful book of the summer. She mentioned that there was a comic graphic about Anaïs Nin.This is the shortened URL for the Publisher’s Weekly piece:

Alas in the piece, the comic associated with Nin is in the wrong place.

In searching for a better graphic to use (then just scroll down!) I re-found this amazing blog, which we have have quoted from before. So ever thanks to Marie Popova, whose astounding blog : all followers of this blog should instantly follow!and donate to. We just did.

Here is her words about the part of the book of most interest to fans of Nin. (The entire piece, entitled
Graphic Canon 3:From Virginia Woolf to James Joyce Visual Artists Take on The Classics. can be found here.)

“Given my undying love for Anaïs Nin’s diaries and letters, which have been the subject of several Brain Pickings Artist Series original collaborations, I was particularly delighted to find this contribution by Mardou:”