Nancy Colbert Friday (born August 27 1933) is an author who has written on the topics of female sexuality and liberation.
Her writings argue that women have often been reared under an ideal of womanhood which was outdated and restrictive, and largely unrepresentative of many women's true inner lives, and that openness about women's hidden lives could help free women to truly feel able to enjoy being themselves. She asserts that this is not due to deliberate malice, but due to social expectation, and that for women's and men's benefit alike it is healthier that both be able to be equally open, participatory and free to be accepted for who and what they are.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Friday grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and was educated at Ashley Hall in Charleston and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She worked briefly as a reporter for the San Juan Island Times and subsequently established herself as a magazine journalist in New York, England, Italy 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. She has not written a book since the publication of The Power of Beauty, which was released in 1996, and then renamed and rereleased in paper-back form in 1999. However, she contributed an interview of porn star Nina Hartley to XXX: 30 Porn Star Portraits a book by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders published in 2004.
Throughout the 80s and early 90s 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, which was created in the mid 1990s, to complement the publication of The Power of Beauty. Initially conceived as a forum for development of new work and interaction with her diverse audience, it has not been updated in several years. As of 2005, Friday is currently working on her first novel.
Despite the judgment of Ms. magazine ("This woman is not a feminist") she has predicated her career on the belief that feminism and appreciation of men are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Nancy Friday married novelist Bill Manville in 1967, separated from him in 1980, and divorced him in 1986. Her second husband was Norman Pearlstine. formerly the editor-in-chief of Time Inc.. They were marrried at the Rainbow Room in New York on July 11, 1988, and divorced in 2005.
She now resides in Key West and New York City.
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