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Little Birds

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  5,955 ratings  ·  278 reviews
Evocative and superbly erotic, Little Birds is a powerful journey into the mysterious world of sex and sensuality. From the beach towns of Normandy to the streets of New Orleans, these thirteen vignettes introduce us to a covetous French painter, a sleepless wanderer of the night, a guitar-playing gypsy, and a host of others who yearn for and dive into the turbulent depths ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 1979)
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women writers
41st out of 437 books — 140 voters
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37th out of 1,701 books — 449 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nora toomey
this is how I learned about sex. Thanks mom and dad for owning it! Also, I stole it from you.
Amanda
I give Little Birds four stars in comparison to Delta of Venus' two, though as a stand alone, it would probably only get 2 or 3. There are almost no disgusting and despicable sex scenes in Little Birds, and for this, I am grateful. (As it turns out, I'm a bit prudish after all...)

Little Birds is set in various places around the world, but quite often set in New York and New Orleans. It feels more modern than Delta of Venus. It feels more aware, more present. And this, my second dip into a colle
...more
Lukas Prytikin
PEOPLE ARE WASTING THEIR TIME NOWADAYS WITH AN OVERLOAD OF TOTALLY INSIGNIFICANT, SHALLOW EROTICA-BOOKS ! ANAIS NIN IS A GODDESS OF MASTERFULLY WRITTEN, DARK EROTICA - HER CHARMING VULNERABILITY AND PERSONAL HONESTY IS PART OF HER POETRY ! SOME OF THE THINGS SHE HAS WRITTEN ABOUT HAVE THE POWER TO BE SOMETIMES DISTURBING BUT THEY ARE ALSO A UNIQUE TESTIMONY ABOUT ANAIS NIN AS A PERSON, THE WOMAN SHE BECAME, THE WOMAN SHE WAS ! ALL THAT IS MEANINGFUL AND PROFOUNDLY MOVING ! (L.prytikin)
Kitty
Dec 02, 2007 Kitty rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults interested in intelligent erotica
Shelves: erotica, fiction
This book, along with it's companion book (they run together in my mind and am talking about both here), Delta of Venus, are wonderfully evocotive erotic stories. They are never the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am stuff of porn magazines. Sometimes magical, sometimes freaky, with a European sensibility, these stories are softly spellbinding. I can't help but get caught up in them whenever I pick up these books. Elena, Pierre, Leila, the Basque and Bijou, what a cool group of characters! And there are s ...more
Monique
This is my first time to read erotica, but because I pretty much have a good idea what to expect, I wasn't at all shocked, surprised, nor repulsed. As I figured, the only way to appreciate erotic literature such as this is to keep an open mind.

I would like to report that I did exactly that, in the first stories. Towards the end, however, I could not also help but become cynical and/or sarcastic. After all, how much sex can you read about and let your mind absorb before your head actually, truly
...more
Cheryl Anne Gardner
This little book of short stories is by far some of the finest erotica ever written. Nin is a true master of love, lust, and the body’s betrayal of our innermost desires. Nin writes with a simple elegance. Never overdoing the imagery, we get just what we need to feel the work without a crass microscopic examination. Nin plunges deeply into the psyche of her characters, and we get more than an up-close and personal intimate glimpse of their inner turmoil as they struggle to break free of their se ...more
Vipassana Vijayarangan
My first piece of erotica and after Little Birds, both my opinion of Anais Nin and the bar for erotica is very high.

Several people believe that sex is purely physical. I see this as a deliberate dissociation from the vulnerability that desire creates in us. Our society and culture, apart from feeding our own self preserving tendencies also "encourages us to acknowledge very little of who we normally are in the act of sex", as Alain de Botton said.

Anais Nin's writing is absent of any such preten
...more
Joshua
I found this book long after discovering "Delta of Venus" as a boy on someone's book shelf. I read "Little Birds" as an adult and I believe it should be taken in tandem with the former rather than separately.


What I can say is that thanks to encountering Anias Nin as a boy, I grew up viewing sexuality and sexual attraction as something that takes place mostly in the mind and it is that tension that she describes, between desire and fear/exhileration, and the surrender that her characters often g
...more
Adrienne
Ok first up I bought this knowing that it contained stories that are also in The Delta of Venus and Eros Unbound, so I guess out of 13 stories I've already read 6 most of which I love and adore and would read agian over and over. The remaining 7 left me feeling a little disappointed, the verve seems to have gone, the exquisite delicacy and graceful writing and words, vanished, the languidity replaced by a sense of urgency. Perhapes by the time she wrote these she was bored to tears of writing er ...more
Sabra Embury
This book would be a great read for someone too conservatively raised to appreciate visual pornography for its valuable lessons in learning how to be comfortable with yourself or your partner. It would be a valuable read for someone who did not know how to caress his or her partner to get them aroused for sex.

If someone's fifteen-year-old son asked their mom or dad what sex was all about, first it would be wise to tell them about reproduction, how to avoid it until ready, venereal diseases, and
...more
M. Sarki
I think Anais Nin was very courageous in her writing.
Chris White
“We don’t see people as they are. We see people as we are.”

Anais Nin, at her best, is a writer who presents snapshots of erotica, cleverly written, poetic and raw – she is the foremother of flash fiction. Anais Nin’s Little Birds is Anais Nin at her best. From the introduction – which is in itself a great story to read, telling as it does of her struggles for money amd the necessity of her writing erotica – to the last story in this collection, Little Birds is a collection of great stories, of p
...more
Janet
Again, minor work by a major talent, her work-for-hire erotic fiction--it's a nice intro to the work of Nin, get your feet wet (so to speak.) Then move on to the major fiction--the unique early short works, Under a Glass Bell and Winter of Artifice, and the novels that comprise Cities of the Interior: Spy in the House of Love, Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross... then onto the Diaries, starting in 1931, go forward, then back to the early diaries Linotte. Then subscribe to Cafe in Space, ...more
Emily May
I found this incredibly boring when compared to the eroticism and sensuality of Delta Of Venus. I was expecting far more from Anais Nin, especially when regarding a field that she had so much expertise in.

The thing is, erotica is one of those things that is so hard to suffer through when it's dull... there's just no pretending otherwise; and these stories were very similar, caresses followed by a very scientific depiction of oral sex. Sorry to say it did nothing for me.
Karen
This book beats 50 shades of Grey into oblivion - beautifully written - a classic novel - and no stupid girl called Ana saying holy crap all the time...Anaïs Nin Little Birds by Anaïs Nin ...more
poiboy
Anais Nin is easily one of the highest tier of intelligent, smoothly clever and casually prolific erotica writers in modern literary history. the prologue to this collection of erotic short stories explains clearly how they came to be and why writers did so at the time. to even ponder a reality that she wrote most of this for pay and not for driven inner desire is impressive.
think on it like pulling off a term paper, that you have no real personal interest in, over a weekend. your 'teachers' ra
...more
Aubariah
This is bad erotica. In 13 stories only one focuses on two people screwing because they like it. I read the whole thing and here are the stories (spoilers aplenty):
1. Open with pedophilia
2. Magic mystery sex with a stranger who romantically recounts being raped in a crowd while watching a hanging.
3. Main character Lina just needs a bit of rape to get her to like sex.
4. Adorable tales of boys molesting their little sisters, and how it leads to a vigorous incestuous sex life.
5. This one is just bo
...more
Christine
Anais Nin is in no way a contemporary of Henry Miller! Maybe it's my narrow view of things (and my first time at reading erotica) but it's really not that good. Her stories are short and bland and unstimulating. Even the language is simple. I don't aruge that she's a good writer (I believe she is) but the only thing I found remarkable about the book was the preface in which she describes how hard it is to focus solely on eroticism and how it changes your life. I may give one of her other books a ...more
Jody
This book is the very first erotica book I've read. I found it in a box of children's books I friend gave to me for my 2 year old son. I read it all the way through and wondered what kind of person would write such things. And then I started to think about the things in my life that might have been so strange as well as erotic. That was years ago. The other day I was in B and N and found one of her books and remember that time in my apartment long ago. Thank you Anaïs Nin!!!!!
Melanie
I was missing France when I began reading this book, as my last memory of having read Anais Nin was when I was in Paris 2004 (Delta of Venus). I did not read any Nin for my 2006 Paris trip, but I remember still being affected by Delta of Venus. As it turns out, WHILE in the middle of reading Little Birds, I find I will be back in Paris next summer. Her writing takes me to "another place" and I am ever so grateful
Erika
Sep 12, 2008 Erika rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: other
This book was interesting. I was surprised to come across it while browsing at the library. Who knew? I had read Delta of Venus years ago and remember thinking that it was interesting (and informative), but that the writing style felt a little stiff. I have found that I still feel that way, but that I had missed the insight into our natures that really are what make the work enduring.
Jennifer
I won't say that all the stories rang true for me, but I will say I had a great time reading this book. Erotic and well-written! In some ways I may have enjoyed just well-done structure of the stories more than the raunchy bits, but that would be disingenuous. It is fun to read erotica!
Benjamin
My first real foray into erotica, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. In the various vignettes, we meet a lot of artists, run into quite a few kimonos, and often wish Anaïs Nin would use a different word for genitalia than "sex." The writing is graceful, often poetic, but can also be meandering. Several stories visit many places, and frequently the various scenes within an individual story can feel quite detached from one another. Sometimes the effect is downright jarring, such as when ...more
Lindsey
In the introduction to Little Birds, Anais Nin states in plain terms how difficult it was for writers to make a living, and then goes on to explain that many writers wrote erotic fiction as a means of supporting themselves in those difficult times (as we are all aware, sex sells). I don't know if this admission tainted my reading of the stories, but they all seemed pretty bland and under-developed. Though the stories all involved sex or arousal, I didn't necessarily find them all erotic, or even ...more
Book Concierge
This is a collection of erotic short stories. The best way I can describe the effect of this book on the reader comes from Nin’s own words in the preface. She comments that most writers of erotica do not set out to write such material; they are driven to it by the need for money. “Most of the erotica was written on empty stomachs.” She goes on to note that hunger will stimulate the imagination. But she also cautions that if “you get too hungry, too continuously, you become a bum…” I found some a ...more
Ricardo Perez
El esplendor de la juventud, la idea atrevida, los sitios prohibidos y el deseo de lo prejuzgado. Con una serie de cuentos más frescos que en "Delta de Venus" Anaïs Nin nos vuelve a sugestionar y despertar la imaginación al ubicarnos en sitios privilegiados, escribiendo para los hombres como lo siente una mujer. Deliciosos relatos de imágenes eróticas y sensuales, que van desde el fogoso y por todos anhelado encuentro con una mujer desconocida en la playa, hasta repetidas ocasiones en el estudio ...more
Lisa
Here is how the book is billed: "Evocative, compelling, superbly erotic, Little Birds is a powerful journey into the mysterious world of sex and sensuality."

Here is what Alice Walker, one of my favorite female authors, has said: "[It is] so distinct an advance in the depiction of female sensuality that I felt, on reading it, enormous gratitude."

Here's what I thought: "Eh."

I am trying to find out whether Nin originally wrote in French and the work was translated to English...which might explain
...more
Lisa Thomson
Anais Nin lived up to her erotic reputation in this lovely collection. Many of the stories are focused on artists and models in Paris. She has a true gift of building up the sexual tension in each story. I didn't love every story. My favorite was 'The Woman in the Dunes'. I found this gem of a book at a used book store in excellent shape.
'hayat
3.5
Okay, I just finished the book, and as hot as it is, as much as it makes you feel every sense in your body, the whole "little girls" are the sexiest and the prettiest stereotype annoyed me, and how inexperienced girls are hotter and better for the man. I loved how the book feels experimental, I liked it more than disliked it but some things just annoyed me.
Grace Johnson
My boyfriend had pulled this off the bookshelf and I thought he was going to read it. Turns out he was just looking for something to put under the laptop to shield his lap from the heat. (apropos) No matter. I took it as a sign and decided to read it. I loved 'Henry and June' so thought I might really like these stories. As far as erotica goes, it was pretty tame by today's standards. It's funny to see how many times a person can write the words "fever", "heat" and "hardness" in one story. The w ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication date 3 22 Jan 19, 2013 04:24PM  
  • The Collected Stories
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  • Anaïs Nin: A Biography
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7190
French-born novelist, passionate eroticist and short story writer, who gained international fame with her journals. Spanning the years from 1931 to 1974, they give an account of one woman's voyage of self-discovery. "It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all." (from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. I, 1966)

Anaïs Nin was largely ignored until the 1960s. Today she is
...more
More about Anaïs Nin...
Delta of Venus Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932) The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934 A Spy in the House of Love (Cities of the Interior #4) A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953

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“We don't see people as they are. We see people as we are.” 39 likes
“With her eyes alone she could give this response, this absolutely erotic response, as if febrile waves were trembling there, pools of madness... something devouring that could lick a man all over like a flame, annihilate him, with a pleasure never known before.” 15 likes
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