Linotte the Early Diary of Anais in 1914-1920 - Ainais Nin 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 fans past the first few pages, because everyone else may be put off by the scribblings of the eleven-year-old girl we are introduced to in the beginning.

Let's be honest hereL those first few pages aren't exactly great literature. They're shaky, often silly, and hit or miss in the "mostly miss" kind of way. She was eleven, so of course they are, as writing better than the average pre-teen, even significantly better like Nin, isn't really saying much. But there's promise there, even in the earliest entries, and the older she gets, the more the reader can recognize that first signs of Nin's style developing, the one that was so defined in Henry and June. The reward at the end is worth the mishaps in the beginning. Definitely. If nothing else, witnessing Nin's evolution as a writer is fascinating.

Highly recommended for fans. If you're interested but uncertain about committing to a 500+ page read that might just end up boring you to tears, just skip the early stuff and go directly to the entries for 1919. You'll be able to catch up, and the final two hundred and fifty pages are the crux of these diaries, anyway.