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Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 � June 7, 1980) was an American writer,

expatriated in Paris at his flourishing. He was known for breaking with existing
literary forms, developing a new type of semi-autobiographical novel that blended
character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language,
sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism.[1][2] His most characteristic
works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The
Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris
(all of which were banned in the United States until 1961).[3] He also wrote travel
memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors.[4]

Miller was born at his family's home, 450 East 85th Street, in the Yorkville
section of Manhattan, New York City. He was the son of Lutheran German parents,
Louise Marie (Neiting) and tailor Heinrich Miller.[5] As a child, he lived for nine
years at 662 Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,[6] known at that time (and
referred to frequently in his works) as the Fourteenth Ward. In 1900, his family
moved to 1063 Decatur Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.[7] After
finishing elementary school, although his family remained in Bushwick, Miller
attended Eastern District High School in Williamsburg.[8] As a young man, he was
active with the Socialist Party of America (his "quondam idol" was the black
Socialist Hubert Harrison).[9] He attended the City College of New York for one

Miller married his first wife, Beatrice Sylvas Wickens, in 1917;[11] their divorce
was granted on December 21, 1923.[12] Together they had a daughter, Barbara, born
in 1919.[13] They lived in an apartment at 244 6th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
[14] At the time, Miller was working at Western Union; he worked there from 1920-
24. In March 1922, during a three-week vacation, he wrote his first novel, Clipped
Wings. It has never been published, and only fragments remain, although parts of it
were recycled in other works, such as Tropic of Capricorn.[15] A study of twelve
Western Union messengers, Miller called Clipped Wings "a long book and probably a
very bad one."[16]

In 1923, while he was still married to Beatrice, Miller met and became enamored of
a mysterious dance hall dancer who was born Juliet Edith Smerth but went by the
stage name June Mansfield. She was 21 at the time.[17] They began an affair, and
were married on June 1, 1924.[18] In 1924 Miller quit Western Union in order to
dedicate himself completely to writing.[19] Miller later describes this time � his
struggles to become a writer, his sexual escapades, failures, friends, and
philosophy � in his autobiographical trilogy The Rosy Crucifixion.

Miller's second novel, Moloch: or, This Gentile World, was written in 1927�28,
initially under the guise of a novel written by June.[20] A rich older admirer of
June, Roland Freedman, paid her to write the novel; she would show him pages of
Miller's work each week, pretending it was hers.[21] The book went unpublished
until 1992, 65 years after it was written and 12 years after Miller�s death.[20]
Moloch is based on Miller�s first marriage, to Beatrice, and his years working as a
personnel manager at the Western Union office in Lower Manhattan.[22] A third novel
written around this time, Crazy Cock, also went unpublished until after Miller's
death. Initially titled Lovely Lesbians, Crazy Cock (along with his later novel
Nexus) told the story of June's close relationship with the artist Marion, whom
June had renamed Jean Kronski. Kronski lived with Miller and June from 1926 until
1927, when June and Kronski went to Paris together, leaving Miller behind, which
upset him greatly. Miller suspected the pair of having a lesbian relationship.
While in Paris, June and Kronski did not get along, and June returned to Miller
several months later.[23] Kronski committed suicide around 1930.[24]