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Nancy Friday

  • 'Oh, I know all about my mother and me,' you may say. 'All that business with my mother was over years ago.' You don't and it wasn't.

  • For instance, in group therapy, I'll have people stand up, show off, give a speech about themselves as though they've just died and have to give a eulogy. Even with this explicit permission — even an order — to say something nice about themselves, this is the hardest thing in the world for people to do. They'd rather take their clothes off.

  • Blaming mother is just a negative way of clinging to her still.

  • Sexuality is the great field of battle between biology and society.

  • The debt of gratitude we owe our mother and father goes forward, not backward. What we owe our parents is the bill presented to us by our children.

  • All my writing has been an effort to sort out the paradoxes of my life.

  • In a baby's first months, the earliest patterns of intimacy or distrust are forever grooved into his soul.

  • Our culture raises us to seek success but we are not taught how to live with it.

  • When is enough enough? In envy's eyes, enough never is. Somebody else always has something we want.

  • After sex, men fear too much intimacy; they want to separate again. Women want to talk, to continue the merging, melting fusion into one. Postcoital conversations keep the woman's power alive. Through unconscious severance, by falling asleep, the man regains his self.

Nancy Friday, U.S. writer

(1937)