Monday, June 05, 2006


Seducing the Demon, Erica Jong, Penguin Group, 2006, 279 pp

This is a memoir by the author of Fear of Flying. I loved it. She grew up when I did. She embraced feminism, free-love, and got famous very fast and way too young. When your first novel is a runaway bestseller, you are basically doomed. No other book you write will ever be that big. If you don't commit suicide, then you must do what Erica did.

She survived. She made all the usual mistakes but she kept writing what she wanted to write and she is still writing. And happily married. And her daughter is OK as well as being a writer. This book was like a prayer and a blessing to me. It is not all new-agy like Goldie Hawn's memoir. It is loud, brassy, irreverent and yet full of the sort of wisdom a woman ought to have after about 60 years of life.

Then I saw Erica Jong speak at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. She is, in real life, just as she is in her book. She looked great, of course. In fact, she looked better than her author photo on the dust jacket. She just made me feel good about being a 21st century woman who gives a shit about what goes on.

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