Henry Miller / Brenda Venus
During the final four years of his life, Henry Miller wrote over 1,500 love letters (over 4,000 pages!) to his muse, a beautiful Native American actress named Brenda Venus. Originally published by Morrow in 1986 – six years after Miller’s death – the voluminous correspondence was edited into an approximately 200-page book, with commentary by Venus. When it came out, the book received rave reviews, including a sensitive, insightful analysis by Noel Young in the Los Angeles Times.
An ordinary man, blind in one eye and partially paralyzed, might have taken to bed and wasted away, but not Henry Miller. Instead, he fell hopelessly, shamelessly in love and spilled it out in letters to his dear Brenda, wallowing in a euphoria that lasted to his end. He worked himself into a lather, at least on paper, and lived for those Thursday nights when she appeared at his door, took him by his arm and drove him to dinner at his favorite Japanese restaurant in the Hollywood Hills. One stormy night, to spare him hobbling through the puddles in the parking lot, she simply picked him up and carried him upstairs to the entrance. He accepted this with aplomb and a jaunty smile.