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Apprenticed to Venus Tristine Rainer.

Apprenticed to Venus

Tristine Rainer

Arcade Publishing

c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018

9781628727784, $25.99, HC, 384pp,

Synopsis: Anais Nin (February 21, 1903--January 14, 1977) was an essayist and memoirist born to Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised. She spent some time in Spain and Cuba, but lived most of her life in the United States, where she became an established author. She wrote journals (which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death), novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and erotica. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously. (Wikipedia)

In 1962, eighteen-year-old Tristine Rainer was sent on an errand to Anais Nin's West Village apartment. The chance meeting would change the course of her life and begin her years as Anais's accomplice, keeping her mentor's confidences (including that of her bigamy) even after Anais 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 Anais Nin, who was an icon of the feminist movement and 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 Anais's inner circle, implicated in the mysterious author's daring intrigues--all while simultaneously finding her own path through love, lust, and loss.

"Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anais Nin" provides an intimate look at the intricacies (and risks) of the female mentor-protege relationship, and presents a series of examples and incidents of Tristine Rainer's deep friendship, for good or ill, with a pivotal historical figure.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anais Nin" is a 'must' for the legions of Anais Nine fans. An extraordinarily well written, deeply personal, impressively candid memoir, "Apprenticed to Venus" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library 20th Century American Biography collections in general, and Anais Nine supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Apprenticed to Venus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.67).

Julie Summers


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Author:Summers, Julie
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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