Summer reads: a graphic account of the adventures of Anaïs Nin

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Léonie Bischoff is a Swiss artist and creator of graphic novels, the latest of which is a highly original account of the key episodes in the turbulent life of French-Cuban-American writer Anaïs Nin, based on the contents of her most intimate, unexpurgated diaries. As part of a summer series in which Mediapart journalists highlight those books published over the last 12 months which have particularly caught their eye, Dan Israel reviews Bischoff’s Anaïs Nin, Sur la mer des mensonges (Anaïs Nin, on the sea of lies), a seven-years-in-the-making, no-holds-barred story of Nin’s adventures and quest for personal freedom.

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Flowers in bud abound, the ocean also, and a boat subjected to raging waves. But in Léonie Bischoff’s graphic novel, such somewhat classic images are not what they might at first seem: Anaïs Nin, Sur la mer des mensonges (Anaïs Nin, on the sea of lies), which follows a part of the life of the French-Cuban-US writer during the 1930s, is anything but an ode to classic romanticism.