This new critical biography takes an innovative look at the life and work of the notorious American author (1891-1980). It examines Miller's intense immersion in esoteric and theosophical interests, charting the cultivation of these ideas from his boyhood and adolescence to late in his career and evaluating the way in which his writings and lifestyle were influenced by his spiritual quests. From astrology and Gnosticism to Nostradamus and the great thinkers of the East, Miller remained deeply engaged with a variety of distinct philosophies throughout his career. David Stephen Calonne explores the effects this had on the author's work in addition to Miller's own complex and volatile life, from his marriages and love affairs with Beatrice Wickens, June Mansfield and Anais Nin to his years in Paris, the journey to Greece which resulted in what Miller himself considered his greatest book - the travelogue The Colossus of Maroussi - and his subsequent residence in Big Sur and Pacific Palisades, California. Calonne discusses Miller's involvement in the arts, his love of painting and music, and his friendships with a number of classical musicians.Miller is revealed as a quirky, charismatic man of genius who continues to influence popular culture today, as, for example, in the work of award-winning graphic novelist Alison Bechdel.
Highlighting many areas of Miller's life that have hitherto been neglected, Calonne's book takes a fascinating revisionary approach to the life and work of one of America's most controversial and iconic writers.