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But if any book had stained my innocent adolescence in the colors of womanhood, it had to be Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden. Except this Friday lady, who seemed not only to know about fantasies, but had gotten over two hundred women to share theirs with her.
Finding that book, which I immediately kidnapped and squirreled away in my room for more opportune perusal, did three things for me. I left the book behind with the rest of my childhood when I left home for college, but Nancy Friday and her gardeners stayed with me.
Laughing out loud reading your post remembering my teenage education that all came from Sidney Sheldon books.
Check here to Subscribe to notifications for new posts Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The ReviewerAmritorupa Kanjilal was a corporate shark before she decided she would be much happier being a goldfish, blowing bubbles in her little bowl.
When it first appeared, Nancy Friday's taboo-shattering bestseller "My Secret Garden" created a mixed storm of outrage and exhilaration.
First published in 1973, My Secret Garden ignited a firestorm of reactions across the nation--from outrage to enthusiastic support. In My Secret Garden, journalist and author Nancy Friday details sexual fantasies collected from interviews with hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds. Nancy Friday Nancy Friday is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist who established her early career writing for high-profile publications in England, France, and the US. A grateful resident of Key West, Friday also spends time in New York and Connecticut with her husband, Norman Pearlstine (Editor in Chief of Time Inc.) And her dog Bongo (a Shih-Tzu with his own frequent flier miles). Nancy Colbert Friday is an American author who has written on the topics of female sexuality and liberation.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Friday grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended the only local girls’ college-preparatory school, Ashley Hall, where she graduated in 1951. Nancy Friday married novelist Bill Manville in 1967, separated from him in 1980, and divorced him in 1986. She worked briefly as a reporter for the San Juan Island Times and subsequently established herself as a magazine journalist in New York, England, and France before turning to writing full time and publishing her first book, My Secret Garden, in 1973. This book, which compiled interviews of women discussing their sexuality and fantasies, became a bestseller; Friday has regularly returned to the interview format in her subsequent books on themes ranging from mothers and daughters to sexual fantasies, relationships, jealousy, envy, feminism, BDSM, and beauty.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s she was a frequent guest on television and radio programs such as Politically Incorrect, Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Friday also has a web site, created in the mid-1990s, to complement the publication of The Power of Beauty. If you are reading a book review blog, it’s a pretty thick chance you are a prolific reader and have been so all your life.
Hunger for the written word often made me pick up books that were meant for people thrice my age. I was given the responsibility of packing our inconveniently enormous library into large cardboard boxes and unpacking them again in their new home.

That was all the book was, one fantasy after another, interspersed with Nancy Friday’s droll wisdom. One, it made me understand that I was no lascivious freak, destined for a wanton life, marginalised in an uncorrupted world.
As the years passed and I lost my innocence layer by layer, I found myself wishing I could go back to the book again, see what it was like. All the same, Nancy Friday was a rites of passage for me, and she shall have pride of place on my shelves, uncovered and unashamed. I don’t know what my mom was thinking in allowing me to read them at all, but maybe she thought it was a way to learn all about the birds and the bees without her having to actually spell them out loud to me.
Collected from detailed personal interviews with hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds, this book presents a bracingly honest account of women's inner sexual fantasy lives. Offering an unflinchingly honest look at women's imaginative sexual landscapes, this book is a seminal work of feminist literature.
Her first book, My Secret Garden, was an iconic bestseller, offering an honest and illuminating look at the landscape of female sexuality. I want to focus on one particular scene here [click to watch]  which gives an insight into Vivi’s relationship with her own parents (Sidda’s maternal grandparents). Initially conceived as a forum for development of new work and interaction with her diverse audience, it has not been updated in several years. I read two chapters about puberty from my mother’s copy of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex before I had gotten my first period. It was a daunting task, but the chance to fondle so many books made the long hours of physical labour worth it. This one was neither, and yet it was clothed chastely in a Bangla newsprint from the mid-80s.
I had been living with them for some time now, and it was only a year ago that I worried myself thin that too much of this thinking about sex could lead to pregnancy (in those pre-google days, I laid awake at night holding my breath and trying to see if I could feel a tiny heartbeat inside my tummy, and thanking every power I could thank when I got my chums every month. Shy ladies, candid ladies, virginal ladies, adventurous ladies, married ladies, widowed ladies, all let Nancy Friday, and me tagging along, into their secret gardens of rape, adultery, bestiality, humiliation, bondage, dominance, and pure, beautiful, sinful, guilty pleasure.
Then, last month, 17 years after I first laid eyes on it, I sought it out on google and purchased a copy, almost on a whim. The flowers in her secret garden helped me take a leap of faith, and made teenage a little less unbearable, even if they don’t do anything for me now. If you’ve written it, we’ll be more than happy to check it for errors, improve the styling, give suggestions about sequence and content—in other words, give your hard work a gleaming polish before you unveil it to the world.
When she isn't reviewing the hell out of books, she works on ideas for her novel, and crochets like a maniac. Posto, the three-year old enormously cool labrador shares nuggets of wisdom, daily experiences, life tips, and his general exasperation with his two humans, who would be lost without him.
In its time, this book shattered taboos and opened up a conversation about the landscape of feminine desire in a way that was unprecedented.

It was published in 1973, and since then, Nancy Friday has continued to write on themes including female sexuality, mother-daughter relationships, beauty, fetishism, and romantic relationships.
We women, on the other hand, can get very distracted during sex, which is one of the reasons that we don\'t get aroused or have orgasms as easily.
You probably learnt about love from those mighty shelves, about hate and murder and genocide and the horrors of childbirth. I remember, at 11, the guilty pleasantness of flipping through Kenneth Clark’s The Nude, a scholarly book full of pictures of naked statues and paintings of ladies, my addiction to which could possibly have been the first clue to my inclusive orientation. Hasty stripping revealed a lurid yellow cover with a semi-nude nymphette reclining on a tigerskin rug.
This new book has a far more tasteful cover, thicker pages and there is nothing lurid about it, but it is the same book.
I have close friends who have more bizarre sex lives IRL than these women from the seventies could even fantasize about. If you want her to review your book, or want to tell her off about something, get in touch at amrita(DOT)r(DOT)kanjilal(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or simply leave a comment anywhere on this site.
More outspoken and graphic than any book before its time, "My Secret Garden" quickly became a classic study of female sexuality.
She has been featured as a guest on Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Politically Incorrect, and NPR's Talk of the Nation. You found out that grown-ups were scared, nervous, confused people too, and that they did lie.
At 12, it was a line in Milan Kundera’s The Joke that first flummoxed me about the actual mechanisms (He entered her??
And the title in blood red and mid night blue- My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday- A Study of Women’s Sexual Fantasies.
Some are hilarious, some cute, some gross, and some are so fucking demented that I wonder if they were added by the author just for kicks.
Today, more than one million women hail this astonishing study as a groundbreaking book-- a liberating force adding a new dimension to their sexual fantasies and lives.
From an early age we are taught that sex is not for us and that women who are very interested in sex or display their sexuality are sluts. You read enough to be worried about what was waiting for you in the dark abyss of adulthood, and enough to be excited. The girls in my class had not even gotten breasts yet, and they still believed that babies were found at god’s alter in temples, Jaipur’s version of the stork or the cabbage patch.
My parents never discussed sex or even love within my earshot, seemingly so prudish and innocent that I wondered if they had indeed found me in some temple.

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