Agape Editions, 2017
From the publisher: Melding scholarship with artistic reflection, Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study guides readers through the movements and architectures of Nin's writing. This dense, melodic book combines critical essays with concepts for film treatment, choreography, and an art installation, all centered around Nin’s life, energy, and aesthetic. Using his own lyric sensibilities and love of language as a compass, Kazim Ali explores what possibilities Nin's body of work might hold, and what limitations it might transcend.
"Kazim Ali has written a remarkable work of poetic scholarship that will appeal as much to those who started reading Nin’s diaries, fiction, and essays decades ago as it will to relative newcomers to her oeuvre. Unconventional as it is insightful, Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study also provides an artist’s perspective; what some critics saw as a lack of realism in Nin’s fiction, for example, Ali presents as an evolution of psychic development over the various renditions of the stories. In keeping with Nin’s sense that what is imagined and internal is as real—or more real—than what is "factual" and external, Ali captures the magic that Nin embraced—that of one’s life as a work of art.
—Diane Richard-Allerdyce, Ph.D., author of Anaïs Nin and the Remaking of Self: Gender, Modernism, and Narrative Recovery
"Ali’s analysis of Anaïs Nin’s fiction is a welcome addition to Nin scholarship. His pleasure in her writing is apparent; each passage, written in precise and poetic language, keeps the text imaginative and energetic as Ali uncovers, demystifies, and unites images, characters, and even small parts of Nin’s biography. This is the book we’ve been waiting for, to have a passionate wordsmith deeply delve into the fiction and guide us through it."
—Steven Reigns, Anaïs Nin scholar & Inaugural Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, CA