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Little Birds

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  9,711 ratings  ·  506 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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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,711 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Nora toomey
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this is how I learned about sex. Thanks mom and dad for owning it! Also, I stole it from you.
Lukas Prytikin
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Steven Godin
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, fiction, erotica
The stories here, which I found to be more finely crafted and deeper than Delta of Venus, were clever, entertaining, and of course, sexy. In my opinion, Nin set the bar higher than anyone else when it comes to erotic literature. This is literary erotica for intellectuals, and her beautiful style of writing which is easy to connect with covers a range of sexual and sensual indulgences, and reveals insights into the mysteries of women and their sexuality. Most are based on her adventurous experien ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
In Full Flight

The titular birds feature in polar opposite contexts in this collection of erotica.

In the first story, Marcel rents an attic with a terrace. He feeds the birds, so as to attract the attention of schoolgirls across the road. Having won their trust, he exposes himself to the girls, after which they take fright and run away, like little birds.

In the last story, a runaway 16 year old girl, Jeanette, finds physical shelter with Jean and Pierre. She wants to have a few men to herself. "O
Dec 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults interested in intelligent erotica
Shelves: fiction, erotica
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
Cheryl Anne Gardner
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
So… I totally stole my first copy of this book from my mother. I learnt more about sex, sensuality and pleasure from Anais Nin than from anything else I had ever read on the subject until much later in life, and for that, I would like to thank her.

Weird confessions aside, this is a beautifully written collection of short stories, that explore not just heterosexual intercourse, but all kinds of other interesting sexual escapades, some quite out of the norm – but bear in mind that this was a very
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, hot-sex
I found this less subversive than her more famous collection, Delta of Venus. That book I compared to "a kitty who rolls on her back for you and you reach out to rub her stomach and she shreds your hand with no warning." This one is a little more, like, you want sexy stuff, here's the sexy stuff.

I mean, sortof. It's all still pretty weird. Nin leaves no kink unkinked. She deals with power imbalances a lot. She investigates the concept of consent. She is nonjudgmental. If you aren't equally nonj
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2011, erotica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sabra Embury
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sexy-time
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
Emily May
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, classics, erotica
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.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bedroom-bookcase
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
Read: October 2016

Overall rating: 4/5 stars

For me Anais Nin has been a very unpredictable author to read; some of her books (Under a Glass Bell & Collages) I have absolutely loved, others I have loathed (Delta of Venus), while her book of essays (In Favour of the Sensitive Man) left me a bit 'meh.'

After the first story in this collection I was afraid that Little Birds would fall into the 'loathe' category but thankfuly Nin veered away from the pedophilic undertones in the remaining stories, actu
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-authors
This book ruined my innocence.
Chris White
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“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
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
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Michael Jandrok
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Little Birds" and it's sister volume, "Delta of Venus" were ubiquitous in suburban homes towards the late 70's and early 80's. The simple reason for this was the prevalence of book clubs during this period of time. It seemed like every house had a set of these books sitting slyly on the shelf somewhere. I know that my mother certainly had a set, which I was carefully forewarned against reading until I was 18 years old. So of course I skimmed through them at every opportunity looking for the nau ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was just last year that I read more about Anais Nin, and it was by then that I learned about her relationship with Henry Miller (one of my most favorite writers), which had an obvious impact to both their writings. Erotic, passionate, deeply intellectual, soul-stirring, so human—this was how the way the write. So during the last quarter of last year, I had bought her books, and reading them makes me understand further Henry Miller’s works. Also, I must say that for me, she is, by far, the bes ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Nin writes about desire and pleasure with imagination and a kind of full-body sensuality. These short stories sometimes feel too abbreviated, stopping abruptly rather than reaching a more natural conclusion. They must have been both shock
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Kenya Wright
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So....this was weird and sexy, but very weird...this short stories somewhat hard to pun intended.
M. Sarki
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think Anais Nin was very courageous in her writing.
Jonathan Rosas
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I happened to be reading two books of erotic short stories at the same time, alternating between the books after every story or two. The biggest difference between the two, and a big reason why I much preferred this one over the other, is that it’s not written pornography. What I mean is you’re not going to sit down and read some script for really bad porn. If anything it’s almost like reading the diaries of each character the stories are based off of, even though they all come from the mind of ...more
Book Concierge
Jul 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
*tries to type out a review*
*still gasping for breath*
*gives up anyways*

Edit: Epitome of erotica literature this is. A collection of thirteen compelling stories surrounding the characters who simply lure you into their world.
Erotica is not just sex. Anaïs Nin makes it very clear here.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication date 3 24 Jan 19, 2013 04:24PM  

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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

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