PUBLISHED BOOKS and LITERARY PUBLICATIONS
HENRY MILLER: THE LAST DAYS
The companion to Barbara Kraft’s memoir Anais Nin: The Last Days, her latest book chronicles the last two years of Henry Miller’s life. Shortly after her beloved friend Anais Nin died, Kraft wrote a radio broadcast entitled “An Open Letter to Henry Miller” praising his work; the program was aired over KCRW, the Los Angeles based NPR station. When Miller heard the program, he wrote saying he wanted to meet her and invited her to dinner. It was the first of many dinners, and a close friendship ensued, all carefully documented in Kraft’s diary, the basis for this memoir. Kraft not only provided Miller with good cuisine and conversation, she was also instrumental in putting a sense of order in Miller’s chaotic house in the Pacific Palisades, ensuring, in the end, that he did not die alone. Miller’s spirit is alive and well in these pages.
THE LIGHT BETWEEN THE SHADOWS: A CONVERSATION WITH EUGENE IONESCO
Today more than ever, the sentiments expressed by Ionesco in Barbara Kraft’s ‘Conversation’ with him, are as important, if not more so, than when he spoke to her many years ago. As he said to Kraft, “We know very well that Western humanism is bankrupt. We also know very well that the leaders of the Eastern countries no longer believe in Marxism. Absolute cynicism and a great biological vitality are all that remain of the East’s revolutionary faith and all that keeps its leaders in power — active in the struggle for power and world supremacy…. Life has become, then, a deadly combat without scruple, since all ideologies and moralities have vanished — a combat for the conquest of the planet and its material riches.”
ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS
“I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.”
Thus begins Barbara Kraft’s memoir, ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS. With her sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose, Kraft has captured the humanity, mortality, and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures.
THE RESTLESS SPIRIT:JOURNAL OF A GEMINI
Published by Les Femmes (Milbrae, CA) The Restless Spirit, recounts Kraft’s struggles to achieve individual freedom “as an artist who is a woman in a wealthy, sophisticated society,” The preface was written by Anais Nin.
Barbara Kraft has written and published in a variety of genres including drama, fiction, non-fiction (essays, book reviews), autobiography, poetry, and opera libretti.
An hour-long radio play written, directed and produced for KPFK on the Irish revolutionary and extravagant muse of William Butler Yeats; Maud Gonne received the prestigious Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama…” The production featured Julie Adams as the extraordinary Maud.
THE INNOCENTS: WITCH TRIAL AT SALEM
Barbara Kraft wrote the libretto for William Kraft’s The Innocents: Witch Trial at Salem, a chamber work for chorus and orchestra. The Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: “The libretto by Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace. Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written) cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria….the union of words and music bore complete conviction.”
THE DREAM TUNNEL: A MUSICAL JOURNEY THROUGH AMERICA
Barbara Kraft wrote and performed the narration for The Dream Tunnel: A Musical Journey Through America set to music by composer William Kraft. The work was commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 1976 Bicentennial; the first of the three performances was broadcast live over KPFK Pacifica Radio.
FRAU LOU: “DARE EVERYTHING, NEED NOTHING”
A dramatic documentary written, directed and produced for KPFK Pacifica Radio. The legendary Salome, featuring Julie Adams in the title role, was the object of Nietzsche’s thwarted adoration, muse to the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and, late in life, a student of Sigmund Freud’s in Vienna.
A radio documentary written, directed and produced for KPFK Pacific Radio. An unscholarly conjecture about the women in Richard Wagner’s life, both real and ‘operatic,’ and how they became intertwined in the composer’s life and work.
SELECTED WORKS PUBLISHED IN LITERARY JOURNALS:
“Recollections of Anais Nin by her Contemporaries,” Ohio University Press, 1996
“An Edited Life: The Death of Anais Nin,” Anais Nin: A Book of Mirrors, Sky Blue Press, Michigan, 1996
“The Last Days of Henry Miller,” Henry Miller: A Book of Tributes, 1931-1994, Standish Books, 1994
“The Last Days of Henry Miller,” The Hudson Review, New York, Fall 1993; also broadcast over KCRW-FM
“Art is What Artists Do,” on John Baldessari, for Articles, published by CalArts, 1984-85 issue
“The Universe of Sidney Sheinberg,” Columbia, published by Columbia University Magazine, 1984
“A Conversation with Henry Miller,” Michigan Quarterly Review, the University of Michigan, 1981; also broadcast over KCRW-FM
“Interview: Eugene Ionesco,” Canadian Theatre Review, York University, Downsview, Ontario, 1981