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A Spy in the House of Love

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Language  English
Pages  136 pp (first edition)
Author  Anaïs Nin
Followed by  Seduction of the Minotaur
3.7/5 Goodreads

Publication date  1954
Originally published  1954
Genre  Avant-garde
Country  United States of America
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Media type  Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Publishers  Ohio University Press (1954), Penguin Books (1973)
Similar  Anaïs Nin books, Cities of the Interior books, Other books

A Spy in the House of Love is a novel by Anaïs Nin published in 1954. Alongside her other novels, Ladders to Fire, Children of the Albatross, The Four-Chambered Heart and Seduction of the Minotaur, which were all first published in the United States between the 1940s and 1960s, A Spy in the House of Love was gathered into a collection of her novels known as Cities of the Interior.


The novel follows the character of Sabina; a woman who dares to enjoy the sexual licence that men have always known. Wearing extravagant outfits and playing dangerous games of desire, she deliberately avoids commitment, gripped by the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake.

In A Spy in the House of Love, Anaïs Nin expressed her individual vision of feminine sexuality with a ferocious dramatic force. Through Sabina's affairs with four men, she lays bare all the duplicity and fragmentation of self that is involved in the search of love.

Penguindoll a spy in the house of love

Plot summary

The protagonist, Sabina, is a firebrand blazing through 1950s New York in the pursuit of her desires. The novel opens with her calling a random strangers' number, who happens to be a lie detector, in the middle of the night from a bar seeking to confess or find solace in the voice of a stranger. This same lie detector proceeds to follow Sabina in her activities throughout the novel. Her life becomes more and more complex the more involved she gets with her various love interests while trying to sustain her relationship with her husband, Alan, whom she feels she cannot live without. The level of deceit which she is forced to maintain with her hedonistic lifestyle leads her to regard herself as "an international spy in the house of love".


  • Ohio University Press page about Spy in the House of Love
  • References

    A Spy in the House of Love Wikipedia

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