Somewhere, zipping through web headlines, I saw that author Anais Nin would have celebrated her 111th birthday in 2014. Her roots were Spanish, Cuban and French, but most of her life was spent in America. I knew she never had children — I don’t know how I knew it, but I felt it to be true. Looking for confirmation online, I unearthed this detailed answer at Answers.com. It’s a wiki-site, so the info comes from users like you and me. But, still.
Wait. What? I’m pretty sure that wasn’t my question.
Granted, Ms. Nin found fame in diaries and novels known for explicit eroticism. She had a famous affair with writer Henry Miller. But, I asked if she ever had children. I’d remember if I’d asked if she’d ever been pregnant. I’m sure of it.
I went back to the search engine. Biography.com didn’t mention abortions. Neither did Encylopaedia Britannica. Where’d it come from? It’s not that I’m a super fan or anything — I read Delta of Venus in college, I think. It’s wrong to dismiss her only as an eroticist. Her writing is deeper than that, and I was probably too young to catch most of it. Now, I just wanted to know how her abortions made their way into her ‘permanent record.
Back to the search engine, this time looking for “Anais Nin abortion”.
The first page of approximately 18,000 results told me that Ms. Nin outed herself, way back in 1940. True to her style and herself, she talked about her life. All of it. That takes guts now. How she must have been spurned after speaking out before World War II. Gotta add her to the Famous NotMoms list for sure. No surprise that is is one of her most shared quotes:
“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.”