Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

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Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller’s famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s. Tropic of Cancer is now considered, as Norman Mailer said, “one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century.”

About Henry Miller

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Henry Miller, American novelist, was born in 1891 in New York City. His most famous works, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, were written while Miller was an expatriate living in Paris and were originally published in France in the mid-1930s. At that time, the two books were widely considered obscene in the United States, and they were banned from sale there until 1961. Some of Miller's other works include The Colossus of Maroussi and Big Sur and the Oranges of Heironymus Bosch. Henry Miller was married five times and he also had an extended love affair with Anais Nin. He died in 1980 in his Pacific Palisades, Calif., home. Writer and diarist Anais Nin was born February 21, 1903 in Neuilly, France to a Catalan father and a Danish mother. She spent many of her childhood years with her Cuban relatives. Later, she became a naturalized American citizen. She is best known for her journals,"The Diary of Anais Nin, Vols. I-VII" and her erotic fiction. In fact, Nin was one of the raliest writers of erotica for women. She also wrote the book "Henry and June' which was made into a movie of the same name in 1990. In 1973 Anaīs Nin received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the United States National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974. She died of cancer in Los Angeles, California, on January 14, 1977.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc.. 356 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Erotica, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Tropic of Cancer

The New York Times

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Though Orwell prissily complained that Miller's characters were idlers, Van Norden, Carl and Fillmore in ''Tropic of Cancer, as well as Miller himself, were American picaresques, would-be heroes going the other way, like Wrong-Way Corrigan - not west, but back to Europe, as if their ancestors had...

May 09 1982 | Read Full Review of Tropic of Cancer

Publishers Weekly

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Miller’s once controversial story that ended up altering United States censorship laws tells of a young writer and his pals in Paris during the Great Depression.

Oct 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Tropic of Cancer

BC Books

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I would go out for six hours of self-judgment and expletives that would make most priests I knew growing up proud (judgment) and Quentin Tarantino blush (language).

Aug 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Tropic of Cancer

BC Books

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A few of the better parts/quotes I read: In describing an artist he wrote: "An artist is always alone - if he is an artist.

Aug 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Tropic of Cancer

Nights and Weekends

Upon reading Miller’s classic, it’s easy to see how such a book could have been banned for over sixty years (although, for the record it’s not a practice I condone).

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Time Out New York

Bereft of its context, Miller's overheated prose - intoned, voice-off, by Rip Torn as Miller in the intervals between his breathless sexual encounters - is revealed as a mixture of bad poetry and bad travelogue.

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The Paris Review

Henry Miller has just been laughed at for rhapsodizing about Walt Whitman.

Jul 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Tropic of Cancer

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Andrew Giambertone

Andrew Giambertone 8 Nov 2014

Added the book to want to read list