Apprenticed to Venus My secret life with Anaïs Nin

Tristine Rainer

Book - 2017

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Autobiographies
Published
New York : Arcade Publishing [2017]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
368 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781628727784
1628727780
Main Author
Tristine Rainer (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In 1962, Anaïs Nin, "beautiful and mysterious," was struggling to find footing in America's literary world when Rainer, about to start college, met her in Greenwich Village, thanks to Rainer's godmother, the artist Lenore Tawney. Rainer was promptly bewitched, becoming an ardent disciple and reluctant co-conspirator in the lies that sustained Nin's secret "trapeze" existence as a woman with two husbands: the steadfast French banker Hugo Guiler in New York, and the much younger, no-less-devoted Californian, Rupert Pole. Rainer, who became an expert on diaries and memoir, candidly and vividly recounts her role in Nin's astoundingly duplicitous life in an irresistible mix of fact, memory, and storytelling she calls a "novoir." Along with fresh insights into gender roles, Rainer offers stunning revelations about the publication of Nin's cagily edited diaries and the misplaced reverence the writer accrued as a feminist icon. Describing Nin as "brave and dishonest," and "a visionary of life itself as imaginative theater," Rainer brings this "artist/goddess," who wrote to "taste life twice," into sharper focus as Nin's unexpurgated diaries continue to be published. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rainer (Your Life as Story) blends memoir and imagination in this engaging examination of her relationship with author Anaïs Nin. "I call this book a novoir—a memoir with true characters and actual dialogue, but with the structure and stylistic elements of a novel," Rainer says at the outset. Rainer first meets Nin in New York City in 1962 when her godmother sends her to pick up books from the famous diarist. Sheltered and virginal when she enters Nin's circle, Rainer is shocked to discover that Nin is a bigamist with husbands on both coasts, but before long Rainer is covering for her mentor. When Nin's The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931–1934 is published in 1966, Nin becomes a feminist superstar and icon of the sexual revolution. Rainer, too, is on her way, pursuing a doctorate in English literature at UCLA, with her mentor happily speaking to Rainer's undergraduate students. Despite some ruptures between them, the pair remain close up until Nin's death from cancer in 1977. While the line between truth and imagination in this book is hard to discern at times, Rainer still manages to take readers on a fascinating personal journey. Agent: Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management. (July) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The author describes her coming of age under the guidance of author and feminist icon Anaèis Nin and explains how she became a fixture of Anaèis' inner circle while trying to find her own path through love, lust, and loss.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sharing personal memories and profound revelations, the author charts her coming of age under the guidance of Anaïs Nin—lover to Henry Miller, feminist icon of the sexual revolution and author of the erotic best-seller Delta of Venus—and how she became a fixture of Anaïs' inner circle while trying to find her own path through love, lust and loss. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Revealing Look at the Mentorship—and Manipulation—of Anaïs NinIn 1962, eighteen-year-old Tristine Rainer was sent on an errand to Anaïs Nin’s West Village apartment. The chance meeting would change the course of her life and begin her years as Anaïs’s accomplice, keeping her mentor’s confidences—including that of her bigamy—even after Anaïs Nin’s death and the passing of her husbands, until now.Set in the underground literary worlds of Manhattan and Los Angeles during the sixties and seventies, Tristine charts her coming of age under the guidance of the infamous Anaïs Nin: author of the erotic bestseller Delta of Venus, lover to Henry Miller, Parisian diarist, and feminist icon of the sexual revolution. As an inexperienced college-bound girl from the San Fernando Valley, Tristine was dazzled by the sophisticated bohemian author and sought her instruction in becoming a woman. Tristine became a fixture of Anaïs’s inner circle, implicated in the mysterious author’s daring intrigues—while simultaneously finding her own path through love, lust, and loss. In what Kirkus calls a “spicy and saucy hybrid of memoir and novel,” Apprenticed to Venus brings to life a seductive and entertaining character —the pioneer whose mantra was, “A woman has as much right to pleasure as a man!”An intimate look at the intricacies—and risks—of the female mentor-protégé relationship, Tristine Rainer’s Apprenticed to Venus stories her deep friendship, for good or ill, with a pivotal historical figure.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A Revealing Look at the Mentorship'and Manipulation'of Anaïs NinIn 1962, eighteen-year-old Tristine Rainer was sent on an errand to Anaïs Nin's West Village apartment. The chance meeting would change the course of her life and begin her years as Anaïs's accomplice, keeping her mentor's confidences'including that of her bigamy'even after Anaïs Nin's death and the passing of her husbands, until now.Set in the underground literary worlds of Manhattan and Los Angeles during the sixties and seventies, Tristine charts her coming of age under the guidance of the infamous Anaïs Nin: author of the erotic bestseller Delta of Venus, lover to Henry Miller, Parisian diarist, and feminist icon of the sexual revolution. As an inexperienced college-bound girl from the San Fernando Valley, Tristine was dazzled by the sophisticated bohemian author and sought her instruction in becoming a woman. Tristine became a fixture of Anaïs's inner circle, implicated in the mysterious author's daring intrigues'while simultaneously finding her own path through love, lust, and loss. In what Kirkus calls a 'spicy and saucy hybrid of memoir and novel," Apprenticed to Venus brings to life a seductive and entertaining character 'the pioneer whose mantra was, 'A woman has as much right to pleasure as a man!"An intimate look at the intricacies'and risks'of the female mentor-protégé relationship, Tristine Rainer's Apprenticed to Venus stories her deep friendship, for good or ill, with a pivotal historical figure.