Henry Miller

Henry Miller (1891–1980) was born in New York, and spent his childhood in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. In the late ’20s, Miller came to Paris with his wife June, and became acquainted with Anaïs Nin, who would become his lover and patron. Nin was the first publisher of Tropic of Cancer, which was the subject of a landmark obscenity trial when it was published in the U.S. in 1961. Miller’s writing, which was often sexually explicit, blended fiction, memoir, personal philosophy and social commentary. Forbidden by authorities, his books were smuggled into the U.S. and became highly influential on the new generation of Beat writers. His later years were spent writing and painting in Big Sur, on the coast of California.

The Wisdom Of The Heart

Fiction by Henry Miller

In this selection of stories and essays, Henry Miller elucidates, revels, and soars, showing his command over a wide range of moods, styles, and subject matters. Writing “from the heart,” always with a refreshing lack of reticence, Miller involves the reader directly in his thoughts and feelings. “His real aim,” Karl Shapiro has written, “is to find the living core of our world whenever it survives and in whatever manifestation, in art, in literature, in human behavior itself.…
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Sextet

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

Resembling a musical sextet where no two instruments are the same, but all instruments blend to form a single sound, Henry Miller’s Sextet combines six fresh and impromptu pieces of writing originally published as individual chapbooks by Capra Press: “On Turning Eighty,” “Reflections on the Death of Mishima,” “First Impressions of Greece,” “The Waters Reglitterized: The Subject of Water Colors in Some of its More Liquid Phases,” “Reflections on The Maurizius Case: A Humble Appraisal of a Great Book,” and “Mother, China and the World Beyond: A Dream in Which I Die and Find Myself in Devachan (Limbo) Where I Run into My Mother whom I Hated All My Life.…
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The Colossus Of Maroussi

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

With a contribution by Will Self Ian S. MacNiven

Like the ancient colossus that stood over the harbor of Rhodes, Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi stands as a seminal classic in travel literature. It has preceded the footsteps of prominent travel writers such as Pico Iyer and Rolf Potts. The book Miller would later cite as his favorite began with a young woman’s seductive description of Greece. Miller headed out with his friend Lawrence Durrell to explore the Grecian countryside: a flock of sheep nearly tramples the two as they lie naked on a beach; the Greek poet Katsimbalis, the “colossus” of Miller’s book, stirs every rooster within earshot of the Acropolis with his own loud crowing; cold hardboiled eggs are warmed in a village’s single stove, and they stay in hotels that “have seen better days, but which have an aroma of the past.…
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Sunday After The War

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

A collection of stories and excerpts from longer works.
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The Book Of Friends

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

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A Devil in Paradise

Fiction by Henry Miller

The devil in Henry Miller’s Big Sur paradise is Conrad Moricand: “A friend of his Paris days, who, having been financed and brought over from Europe as an act of mercy by Mr. Miller, turns out as exacting, sponging, evil, cunning, and ungrateful a guest as can be found in contemporary literature. Mr. Miller has always been a remarkable creator of character. Conrad Moricand is probably his masterpiece…A Devil in Paradise is the work of a great novelist manqué, a novelist who has no stricter sense of form than the divine creator…Fresh and intoxicating, funny and moving…” –TLS
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Aller Retour New York

Fiction by Henry Miller

Aller Retour New York is truly vintage Henry Miller, written during his most creative period, between Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939). Miller always said that his best writing was in his letters, and this unbuttoned missive to his friend Alfred Perlès is not only his longest (nearly 80 pages!) but his best—an exuberant, rambling, episodic, humorous account of his visit to New York in 1935 and return to Europe aboard a Dutch ship.…
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Into the Heart of Life

Fiction by Henry Miller

In celebration of the centennial of his birth, Into the Heart of Life: Henry Miller at One Hundred gathers a captivating selection of writings from ten of his books. The delights of his prose are many, not the least of which is Miller’s comic irony, which as The London Times noted, can be “as stringent and urgent as Swift’s.” Frederick Turner has organized the whole to highlight the autobiographical chronology of Miller’s life, and along the way places the author squarely where he belongs––in the great tradition of American radical individualism, as a child of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman.…
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Letters To Emil

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

Prepared by Henry Miller for publication in 1938, Letters to Emil––correspondence from 1921 through 1934 with his boyhood friend and successful artist Emil Schnellock––remained unpublished until 1989. A chance encounter by the two men, out of touch since childhood, led to Miller’s decision to become a writer. Throughout the ’20s and into the ’30s, Schnellock acted as his chief mentor, to whom he voiced his exuberant, sometimes cranky views of life and anxiously discussed his dying marriage to June Mansfield and his growing involvement with Anaïs Nin.…
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From Your Capricorn Friend

Fiction by Henry Miller

“It makes me feel good to know there is a comparatively unknown little magazine in the heart of Second Avenue (ghetto to the world) in which l am granted full freedom of speech,” wrote Henry Miller to his friend Irving Stettner, editor of Stroker. In 1978-80, the last three years of his life, Miller generously contributed letters, drawings, and various prose pieces for this magazine’s use, both previously unpublished works from an earlier date and, of special interest, much that was newly written.…
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Just Wild About Harry

Theater by Henry Miller

A “melo-melo in seven scenes,” Just Wild About Harry is Henry Miller’s only excursion into playwriting. Harry is pure Miller, welling up from the same abundant love of life and freedom from convention that made its author the dean of writers dedicated to human liberation. Admittedly inspired by lonesco and the Theatre of the Absurd, Miller’s tragicomic slapstick is nevertheless as American as the Marx Brothers and the blues––the simple story of a heartless Harry (the one the ladies are wild about) who learns a bittersweet lesson about life, death, and love.…
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The Smile At The Foot Of The Ladder

Fiction by Henry Miller

Henry Miller has called The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder his “most singular story.” First published in 1959, this touching fable tells of Auguste, a famous clown who could make people laugh but who sought to impart to his audiences a lasting joy. Originally inspired by a series of circus and clown drawings by the cubist painter Fernand Léger, Miller eventually used his own decorations to accompany the text in their stead.…
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The Air-Conditioned Nightmare

Fiction by Henry Miller

In 1939, after ten years as an expatriate, Henry Miller returned to the United States with a keen desire to see what his native land was really like––to get to the roots of the American nature and experience. He set out on a journey that was to last for three years, visiting many sections of the country and making friends of all descriptions. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare is the result of that odyssey.…
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The Cosmological Eye

Fiction by Henry Miller

This collection, first published by New Directions in 1939, contains a number of Henry Miller’s most important shorter prose writings. They are taken from the Paris books Black Spring (1936) and Max and the White Phagocytes (1938) and were, for the most part, written at about the same time as Tropic of Capricorn––the period of Miller’s and Durrell’s life in the famous Villa Seurat in Paris. As is usual with Miller, these pieces cannot be tagged with the label of any given literary category.…
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The Henry Miller Reader

Fiction by Henry Miller

In 1958, when Henry Miller was elected to membership in the American Institute of Arts and Letters, the citation described him as: “The veteran author of many books whose originality and richness of technique are matched by the variety and daring of his subject matter. His boldness of approach and intense curiosity concerning man and nature are unequalled in the prose literature of our times.” It is most fitting that this anthology of “the best” of Henry Miller should have been assembled by one of the first among Miller’s contemporaries to recognize his genius, the eminent British writer Lawrence Durrell.…
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Stand Still Like The Hummingbird

Fiction by Henry Miller

One of Henry Miller’s most luminous statements of his personal philosophy of life, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird, provides a symbolic title for this collection of stories and essays. Many of them have appeared only in foreign magazines while others were printed in small limited editions which have gone out of print. Miller’s genius for comedy is at its best in “Money and How It Gets That Way”––a tongue-in-cheek parody of “economics” provoked by a postcard from Ezra Pound which asked if he had “ever thought about money.…
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Henry Miller On Writing

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

Some of the most rewarding pages in Henry Miller’s books concern his self-education as a writer. He tells, as few great writers ever have, how he set his goals, how he discovered the excitement of using words, how the books he read influenced him, and how he learned to draw on his own experience. For this collection––which should be invaluable to young writers––Thomas H. Moore, co-founder of the Henry Miller Literary Society, brought together, with Miller’s active collaboration, the most revealing passages on the art and practice of writing.…
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The Time of the Assassins

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

This study is not literary criticism but a fascinating chapter in Miller’s own spiritual autobiography. The social function of the creative personality is a recurrent theme with Henry Miller, and this book is perhaps his most poignant and concentrated analysis of the artist’s dilemma. “In Rimbaud,” writes Miller, “I see myself as in a mirror.” The discovery of the French poet’s ecstasy and sense of horror, of his startling use of language, opened new worlds to Miller.…
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The Books In My Life

Nonfiction by Henry Miller

Some writers attempt to conceal the literary influences which have shaped their thinking––but not Henry Miller. In this unique work, he gives an utterly candid and self-revealing account of the reading he did during his formative years. In The Books in My Life he shares the thrills of discovery that many kinds of books have brought to a keenly curious and questioning mind. Some of Miller’s favorite writers are the giants whom most of us revere––authors such as Dostoyevsky, Boccaccio, Walt Whitman, James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Lao-Tse.…
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Remember To Remember

Fiction by Henry Miller

This collection of stories and essays takes its title from a long prose reverie in which Henry Miller, after his return to the United States, thinks back to the happy years of middle life which he spent in France. The qualities that make the French unique have seldom been so movingly expressed. The America he had rediscovered does not come off very well by contrast—particularly the Hollywood state of mind, which gets a thoroughly Milleresque going over in the burlesque “Astrological Fricassee.…
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Big Sur and the Oranges Of Hieronymus Bosch

Fiction by Henry Miller

In his great triptych “The Millennium,” Bosch used oranges and other fruits to symbolize the delights of Paradise. Whence Henry Miller’s title for this, one of his most appealing books; first published in 1957, it tells the story of Miller’s life on the Big Sur, a section of the California coast where he lived for fifteen years. Big Sur is the portrait of a place—one of the most colorful in the United States—and of the extraordinary people Miller knew there: writers (and writers who did not write), mystics seeking truth in meditation (and the not-so-saintly looking for sex-cults or celebrity), sophisticated children and adult innocents; geniuses, cranks and the unclassifiable, like Conrad Moricand, the “Devil in Paradise” who is one of Miller’s greatest character studies.…
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Laziness in the Fertile Valley

Fiction by Albert Cossery

Translated from the French by William Goyen

With a contribution by Henry Miller Anna Della Subin

Laziness in the Fertile Valley is Albert Cossery’s biting social satire about a father, his three sons, and their uncle — slackers one and all. One brother has been sleeping for almost seven years, waking only to use the bathroom and eat a meal. Another savagely defends the household from women. Serag, the youngest, is the only member of the family interested in getting a job. But even he — try as he might — has a hard time resisting the call of laziness.…
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There is an eager vitality and exuberance to the writing which is exhilarating; a rush of spirit into the world as though all the sparkling wines have been uncorked at once; we watchfully hear the language skip, whoop and wheel across Miller’s page.

—William H. Gass, The New York Times Book Review

Here is an artist who re-establishes the potency of illusion by gaping out at the open wounds, by courting the stern, psychological reality which man seeks to avoid through recourse to the oblique symbolism of art.

—Anaïs Nin

I think he’s the greatest American writer.

—Bob Dylan
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