Remember Gillian Anderson playing FBI Special Agent Dana Scully in the TV series “The X-Files”? Or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown”? The award-winning film, television and theatre actor, producer, activist and author has now announced a major new project that will chronicle the sex lives of women from around the world. Anderson now stars in the hit Netflix show “Sex Education”.
Inspired by the revolutionary bestseller “My Secret Garden” compiled by Nancy Friday and first published in 1973, Anderson is inviting letters from all women to reveal their sexual fantasies.
These letters will be included anonymously in a generation-defining book, to be published by Bloomsbury, and will be an expansive and revelatory portrait of women’s sexuality and what it means to be a woman today.
From the wild to the mundane, Anderson is inviting women to reveal their secret fantasies, and be a part of an inclusive, intersectional new classic for the 21st century.
Anderson says: “As women, we know that sex is about more than just sex. But so many of us don’t talk about it. Our deepest, most intimate fears and fantasies remain locked away inside of us, until someone comes along with the key.
“Here is the key. I want to hear from you. This will be an anonymous, revelatory book compiling your letters to me to explore how women think about sex. Because when we talk about sex, we talk about womanhood and motherhood, infidelity and exploitation, consent and respect, fairness and egalitarianism, love and hate, pleasure and pain.
“Is there a fantasy you’ve never told anyone about?
“Something you’d share with only the most trusted of confidants, if anyone at all? Wherever you come from, whomever you do or don’t sleep with, whether you’re eighteen or eighty: I want to hear from you.
“Write to me, starting your letter Dear Gillian.”
Details on how to enter can be found at www.deargillian.com. Submissions are open till February 28, 23:59 GMT.
Alexis Kirschbaum, Head, Bloomsbury Trade, says: “I have always been interested in the private lives and private fantasies of women, and in my publishing I have sought to bring these narratives to cultural prominence. I have also been aware in publishing these books of the importance of how these fantasies are told, protected, characterised and curated; that is, how women can be free in their expression of sexual desire.”
Kirschbaum added: “To publish a book in which women’s desires are protected and taken seriously, I realised partnering with a public figure who embodied these values would be crucial. Gillian Anderson’s editorship will help us draw in a wide-range of letters from all corners of the world, and I cannot wait to read the letters she chooses to include in her collection.”
Among other honours, she has won Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, a BIFA and an Evening Standard Theatre Award.
In 2016, Anderson was awarded an honorary OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to drama. She lives in London.
–By Vishnu Makhijani