Erica Jong, “…and The Ultimate Sexist Put-down”.

“Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed”. Erica Jong

“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame”. Erica Jong

“Exceptional people are often called crazy by the ordinary world”. Erica Jong

Erica Jong (née Mann; born March 26, 1942) is an American author and teacher best known for her fiction and poetry.

“I have forgotten my rave reviews and memorized my vicious ones – like most writers”. Erica Jong

A 1963 graduate of Barnard College with an MA (1965) in 18th century English Literature from Columbia University, Erica Jong is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (1973), which created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman’s sexual desires. Although it contains many sexual elements, the book is mainly the account of a hypersensitive young woman, in her late twenties, trying to find who she is and where she is going. It contains many psychological, humorous, descriptive elements, and rich cultural and literary references. The book tries to answer the many conflicts arising in women in late 1960s and early 1970s America, of womanhood, femininity, love, one’s quest for freedom and purpose.

Fear of Flying (1973)

“Pregnancy seemed like a tremendous abdication of control. Something growing inside you which would eventually usurp your life”.

“I’m just trying to lead my own fucking life if I can manage to find it in all this confusion”.

“Dancing is like fucking… it doesn’t matter how you look – just concentrate on how you feel”.

“The ultimate sexist put-down: the prick which lies down on the job”.

Jong has been married four times. Her first two marriages, to college sweetheart Michael Werthman, and to Allan Jong, a Chinese American psychiatrist, reflect those of the narrator of Fear of Flying. Her third husband was Jonathan Fast, a novelist and social work educator, and son of novelist Howard Fast. This marriage was described in How to Save Your Own Life and Parachutes and Kisses.

How to Save Your Own Life  (1977)

“Humor is a survival tool”.

Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either, I really try
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancing man and I just can’t lose
You know it’s all right, it’s ok
I’ll live to see another day
We can try to understand
The New York times effect on man

“Friends love misery… our misery is what endears us to our friends”.

“They all cheat sooner or later. You might as well have one who isn’t a bore the rest of the time”.

“Photographs… are the most curious indicators of reality”.

Jong is mentioned in the Bob Dylan song “Highlands.”

Well, she says, [“You just don’t seem like you do!”]
I said, [“You’re way wrong.”]
She says, [“Which ones have you read then?”] I say, [“I read Erica Jong!”]
She goes away for a minute and I slide out out of my chair
I step outside back to the busy street, but nobody’s going anywhere

“Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy the Church. America Hollywood”

“Many people today believe that cynicism requires courage. Actually, cynicism is the height of cowardice. It is innocence and open-heartedness that requires the true courage — however often we are hurt as a result of it”. Erica Jong

“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads”. Erica Jong

“Betrayal does that — betrays the betrayer”. Erica Jong



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