In 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.
SubtitleMy Secret Life with Anaïs Nin
Published11 July 2017
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Tristine Rainer is a recognized expert on diary and memoir writing and the author of two renowned classics on autobiographic writing continuously in print: The New Diary (with a preface by Anaïs Nin) and Your Life as Story. In addition to co-founding the UCLA Women’s Studies program and later writing and producing award-winning movies for television, Rainer taught memoir and creative nonfiction for eleven years in the USC Masters of Professional Writing Program, and is director of the nonprofit Center for Autobiographic Studies. She resides in California.
Named a "Best Summer Read" by Elle Magazine!
Praise for Tristine Rainer's Apprenticed to Venus:
“[A] spicy and saucy hybrid of memoir and novel . . . Feminists and fans of Nin's work will enjoy this unique insider's portrait of a complex, pivotal figure in women's liberation.” —Kirkus
“Rainer blends memoir and imagination in this engaging examination of her relationship with author Anaïs Nin . . . a fascinating personal journey.” —Publisher's Weekly
"Mysterious, glamorous, intellectual . . . with vivid language and lush scenes, this memoir makes for an exciting read." —Bust Magazine
“There are fateful decisions which mark one for life. Young Tristine Rainer’s first encounter with charismatic, enigmatic Anaïs Nin unfolds into a decades-long apprenticeship suspenseful as a thriller. The advantages and perils of a mentor/apprentice relationship with such a seductive, brilliant and dangerous mentor is absolutely spellbinding. Revelations, especially toward the end of the book, changed my understanding of the Nin story” —Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander
“This stunning, achingly honest memoir confirms that the erotic is neither obscene nor ordinary, and that the heart’s desire is both dangerous and innocent.” —Mark Sundeen, author of The Unsettlers
“This is one of those delicious memoirs one can’t stop reading . . . Tristine Rainer takes us into the hot pulsing heart of Nin’s world . . . an alluring as well as compulsively readable story.” —Jay Parini, author of Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal
“The action-packed adventures of the larger-than-life Anaïs Nin and her young friend Tristine are vivid and glorious, but what broke my heart wide open were the haunting meditations on passion and devotion and the secrets that bond and bind us. A brave and beautiful work.” —Kathleen Adams, author of Journal to the Self
“Stunning, intoxicating, original. Apprenticed to Venus is nothing short of phenomenal, and we owe Tristine as much for her craftsmanship as we do Anaïs for flipping infidelity on its chauvinist head!” —Chip Jacobs, author of Strange As It Seems: The Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler
“A fascinating introduction to an extraordinary woman who raised lying to an art form, but whose essential honesty transcends the falsehoods. A book that will challenge and enthrall.” —Joanna Hodgkin, author of Amateurs in Eden: The Story of a Bohemian Marriage: Nancy and Lawrence Durrell
“An unforgettable, intimate narrative that brilliantly captures one of the most fascinating personalities of the twentieth century.” —Crystal King, author of Feast of Sorrow
Praise for Tristine Rainer's The New Diary:
"A perceptive and revolutionary work." - Anaïs Nin on The New Diary
"Extensively researched, useful...all you've wanted to know." - Los Angeles Times on The New Diary
"Perceptive and readable from start to finish." - Publisher's Weekly on The New Diary
"A book both practical and inspiring. Rainer knows how to shape autobiography into art, and she shares this knowledge with clarity, enthusiasm, and a knack for choosing writers' words that best illustrate her point." — Bernard Cooper, personal essayist and memoirist, author of Maps to Anywhere on Rainer's Your Life As a Story