TRISTINE RAINER ANNOUNCES NEW BOOK, APPRENTICED TO VENUS: MY SECRET LIFE WITH ANAÏS NIN
In 1966 erotic author Anaïs Nin, Parisian lover of Henry Miller, published her intimate Diaries and became an iconic goddess of women’s sexual freedom. Boomer women lived out the image of a liberated single woman that Nin crafted in editing her diaries, and young women are still pursuing sexual freedoms that she proclaimed:
“A woman has as much right to pleasure as a man!”
In reality Nin was far from free, entrapped in a life of deception, married simultaneously to two husbands she could not choose between.
Tristine Rainer met Nin before she became known to the public. As an 18-year-old virgin from the San Fernando Valley, she was sent on an errand to Anaïs’ Greenwich Village apartment and became entranced by the older woman’s world of sensuality and sophistication. She begged Anaïs’ guidance in becoming a woman, eventually following in her mentor’s footsteps of adventurous passion. She writes in Apprenticed to Venus,
“These mirror encounters were not really about the men; they were about Anaïs and me, our game of twinship. They were about watching and being watched, the diarist’s obsessions.”
As Tristine is manipulated into running interference and spying to protect the secret of Anaïs’ bigamy, she enters the dangers and excitement of a true-life psychological thriller. Yet the book is also a moving personal narrative of the bonding and love, the envy and distrust, and finally the gifts and legacy of a deep literary friendship.
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