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My Secret Garden (original 1973; edition 1983)
by Nancy Friday
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671019872, Mass Market Paperback)This book caused quite a ruckus when it was released 25 years ago because it directly quotes the sexual fantasies of dozens of women, ranging from the "very common" rape fantasy to lesbian affairs to unusually explicit scenarios that are unmentionable here. While author Nancy Friday maintains that My Secret Garden served to free millions of women from sexual oppression, there's still a need today to get rid of the guilt that millions more still feel when it comes to fantasizing, having orgasms, and making one's sexual wishes be known. "How could it be, you might ask," she writes, "that women today, at the turn of the century, would still think they were the only Bad Girls with erotic thoughts? What kind of prison is this that that women impose on themselves?"
My Secret Garden has the prurient appeal that made it one of the most passed-around books in high school study halls (it boasts chapters titled "Insatiability" and "The Thrill of the Forbidden"), but its premise, underneath the tales of lusty longings, is a serious one. Friday, also author of My Mother, My Self and Women on Top, is appalled at how parents, especially mothers, instill in their children a deep fear of sexual pleasure, and she advises how to do away with this stultifying force. While Friday can get a little histrionic at times ("Women's lust ... could bring down not only individuals, but society itself"), that doesn't make this book any less enthralling. --Erica Jorgensen
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:29 -0400)
Safe behind the walls of anonymity, hundreds of real women responded to Nancy Friday's call for details of their own most private fantasies. My Secret Garden is the daring compilation of those fantasies. When it first appeared, it created a storm of outrage in the media... and an equal sense of exhilaration for those women who finally were able to share their sisters' most intimate thoughts. Even now, in a new millennium, over ten thousand women each year buy a new copy of this astounding classic of feminist literature.
(summary from another edition)
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