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Nancy Friday 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, which 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 and beauty. Her writings argue that women have often been reared under an ideal of womanhood which was outdated and restrictive, and largely unrepresentative of many women's true inner lives, and that openness about women's hidden lives could help free women to truly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.