cover image Anaïs Nin at the Grand Guignol

Anaïs Nin at the Grand Guignol

Robert Levy. Lethe Press, $13 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-59021-717-7

The seductive blurs with the macabre in this phantasmagoric novella written as an imagined entry into Anaïs Nin’s erotic diaries by Levy (The Glittering World). In 1933 Paris, Anaïs has grown bored with the domesticity of her marriage to Hugo and the routine of her affair with Henry Miller now that Henry’s wife, June, with whom Anaïs was obsessed, has left for America. Anaïs seeks fulfilment for her perversions in the grotesque, sexual pantomimes at the Theatre du Grand-Guignol. There she meets actor Paula Maxa, the “Maddest Woman in the World.” Anaïs finds a new obsession in Maxa but learns that she has sold her soul to another: the parasitic Monsieur Guillard, the “Dark Angel of Music.” Guillard bestows preternatural theatrical talent on those who summon him in exchange for devotion. Hoping to free Maxa from Guillard’s lecherous clutches, Anaïs must first face her own desires head-on. Levy’s disquieting erotic imagery masterfully evokes Nin’s original prose. This sensual confection will enthrall readers looking for an intimate, disturbing thrill. (Oct.)