Biography

Erica Jong

Erica Jong --- novelist, poet and essayist --- has consistently used her craft to help provide women with a powerful and rational voice in forging a feminist consciousness. She has published 21 books, including eight novels, seven volumes of poetry, six books of non-fiction and numerous articles in magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Sunday Times of London, Elle, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review and The Wall Street Journal.

In her groundbreaking first novel, FEAR OF FLYING (20 million in print around the world in more than forty languages), she introduced Isadora Wing, who also plays a central part in three subsequent novels --- HOW TO SAVE YOUR OWN LIFE, PARACHUTES & KISSES, and ANY WOMAN'S BLUES. In her three historical novels --- FANNY, SHYLOCK'S DAUGHTER, and SAPPHO'S LEAP --- she demonstrates her mastery of 18th-century British literature, the verses of Shakespeare, and ancient Greek lyric, respectively.

A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia University's Graduate Faculties where she received her M.A. in 18th Century English Literature, Erica Jong also attended Columbia's graduate writing program where she studied poetry with Stanley Kunitz and Mark Strand. In 2008, continuing her long-standing relationship with the university, a large collection of Erica's archival material was acquired by Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library, where it will be available to graduate and undergraduate students. Ms. Jong plans to teach master classes at Columbia and also advise the Rare Book Library on the acquisition of other women writers' archives.

Calling herself "a defrocked academic," Ms. Jong has partly returned to her roots as a scholar. She has taught at Ben Gurion University in Israel, Bennington College in the U.S., Breadloaf Writers' Conference in Vermont and many other distinguished writing programs and universities. She loves to teach and lecture, though her skill in these areas has sometimes crowded her writing projects. "As long as I am communicating the gift of literature, I'm happy," Jong says. A poet at heart, Ms. Jong believes that words can save the world.

Known for her commitment to women's rights, authors' rights and free expression, Ms. Jong is a frequent lecturer in the U.S. and abroad. She served as president of The Authors' Guild from 1991 to 1993 and still serves on the Board. She established a program for young writers at her alma mater, Barnard College. The Erica Mann Jong Writing Center at Barnard teaches students the art of peer tutoring and editing.

Erica Jong was honored with the United Nations Award for Excellence in Literature. She has also received Poetry magazine's Bess Hokin Prize, also won by W.S. Merwin and Sylvia Plath. In France, she received the Deauville Award for Literary Excellence and in Italy, she received the Sigmund Freud Award for Literature. The City University of New York awarded Ms. Jong an honorary PhD at the College of Staten Island. In June 2009, Erica won the first Fernanda Pivano Prize for Literature in Italy.
 

Erica Jong

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Books by Erica Jong

by Erica Jong - Family Life, Fiction, Women's Fiction

As the afternoon of life looms over Vanessa Wonderman, she watches her parents age, attends doctor appointments with her pregnant daughter, and sits by the hospital bed of her husband, Asher, 15 years her senior. With her best years as an actress behind her, she's discovering that beginnings are easy, but endings can be hard. Could her fountain of youth fantasies be fulfilled on zipless.com? A site inspired by the writings of her best friend, Isadora Wing, it promises "no strings attached" encounters --- and Vanessa is so restless that she's willing to try anything.

by Erica Jong - Women's Fiction

Originally published in 1973 by Holt, Reinhardt and Winston, Fear of Flying, the internationally bestselling story of Isadora Wing by Erica Jong, coined a new phrase for a sex act and launched a new way of thinking about gender, sexuality, and liberty in our society. On the 40th anniversary of its initial publication, we, the original publisher, are reissuing this seminal work with a new introduction by Jennifer Weiner.