Anais was born in Neuilly, just outside Paris.
In 1923 she married Hugo Guiler, who had studied literature and economics and had acquired a good position in an international bank, allowing them to live comfortably.
From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anais later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of avant-guarde novels and a prose poem in the French surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception.
In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.