3. Henry & June - Anaïs Nin
"While I will always be the virgin-prostitute, perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman."
First Publishing 1986
this one i read feverishly, with a fountain pen in hand, highlighting every word and phrase that moved me so that now nearly every page has been left marked. it was one of those rare reading experiences when the words on the page resemble thoughts that have long been left in the depths of your mind, allowing them to now be brought to life. anaïs writes with such a clear passion, albeit poetically, but never too frilly. she entertains the erotic demons head on like a man but never without a woman's grace.
the novel, which is really just intricately placed and positioned excerpts from her diary, forms to tell the story and of the strong influence henry miller and his wife june played on anaïs during the early thirties in paris, france; when both authors were set to complete their greatest works. beginning as a literary friendship, a married anaïs falls into a wildly passionate affair with henry and simultaneously toys with an absolute fascination over june. filled with visions of decadent velvet walled whore houses, smokey dance clubs, sleazy hotel rooms and rural parisian gardens, we are pulled into a world of sexual discovery and liberation, of unknown pleasures and obscure fantasies; a world i found very hard to leave and even harder to forget. henry & june has, without hesitation, topped my favourites of all time list. a must read if ever i recommended one.