Thy Neighbor's Wife (book)

Thy Neighbor's Wife is a non-fiction book by Gay Talese, published in 1981 and updated in 2009.[1][2]

Thy Neighbor's Wife
AuthorGay Talese
CountryUnited States
Publication date
1981, update 2009
Media typePrint

The book is an exploration of sexuality in America from after World War II through the 1970s, with notable discussion of the free love subculture. It provides a snapshot of liberated pre-AIDS sexual morality.

In preparation for writing the book, Talese resided for several months at clothing-optional resort Sandstone Retreat.[3]

In 1979, prior to the book's publication, United Artists purchased the film rights to Thy Neighbor's Wife for $2.5 million, which at the time was the largest amount ever paid for film rights to any book.[4] At the time, UA contemplated making as many as three films based on the book,[4] and in 1980, William Friedkin agreed to write and direct the first film, which he contemplated would receive an X rating.[5] However, as of 2019, no film has been made.[6]


  1. Talese, Gay (January 1, 1980). Thy Neighbor's Wife. Garden City: Doubleday Books. pp. 568. ISBN 978-0385006323. OCLC 6041425.
  2. Talese, Gay (April 14, 2009). Thy Neighbor's Wife. Harper Perennial. p. 608. ISBN 978-0061665431. OCLC 232978247.
  3. Frayser, Suzanne G; Whitby, Thomas J (June 15, 1995). Studies in Human Sexuality: A Selected Guide. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 663–664. ISBN 978-1563081316. OCLC 246859790.
  4. Schwartz, Tony (1979-10-09). "U.A. Pays $2.5 Million For Book by Gay Talese". The New York Times. p. C9. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  5. Bach, Steven (1985). Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate. New York: New American Library. p. 379. ISBN 0451400364.
  6. See Walls, Jeannette (1991-11-18). "Talese Gooses His Neighbor's Wife". New York. p. 12. Retrieved 2019-01-22., discussing the fact that the film had not been made as of 1991.
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