Erica Jong is an American author of fictional writing and a well known poet. She was born on 26th of March 1942 in New York. She was the middle child of Seymore Mann, a businessman of Polish Jewish ancestry and Eda Mirsky who was a painter and a textile designer by profession. Erica married four times. Her personal life reflected in many of her works including ‘Fear of Flying’ in which the narrator seemed very much similar to that of her second husband. Her marriage was depicted in her novel ‘How to Save Your Own Life’. She is currently in a marital relation with Kenneth David Burrows, who is a litigation attorney. Her existing matrimony was illustrated by her in Talk magazine.
Jong went to the prestigious New York’s public High School of Music and Art in the 1950s; her main subjects being art and writing. She had a profound interest in reading, especially Russian novels, and writing poems. After completing her studies at Barnard College, Jong had wanted to become a doctor, “to support herself while she wrote on the side, ‘like William Carlos Williams’ she mentioned in a New York Times Book Review article. However she majored in writing and literature, studying with biographer James Clifford and poet Robert Pack. She received her Master’s degree in 18th century English Literature from Columbia University in 1965. Displaying her distinctive, ultimate energy for the arts, Jong also edited the Barnard literary magazine and created poetry programs for the Columbia University campus radio station.
Erica Jong used her strong writing skills to give women an authoritative and rational voice, portraying the female sensuality with an audacious manner, something that no woman author had ever done before. Her first novel, ‘Fear of Flying’ created frenzy among the general public as people were not used to such display of the women’s sexuality. Her main character Isadora Wing also plays a vital part in three successive novels—‘How to Save Your Own Life’, ‘Parachutes and Kisses’, and ‘Any Woman’s Blues’. Her mastery of eighteenth-century British literature is exhibited in three of her renowned novels; ‘Fanny’, ‘Shylock’s Daughter’, and ‘Sappho’s Leap’. Her latest book, an account of her life as a writer, ‘Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life’, was published in March 2006 and became a national bestseller the world over. Her total publications are twenty which include 8 novels, 6 volumes of poetry and 6 non fictional books along with several articles written for various magazines like New York Times, the Sunday Times of London, Elle, Vogue and the New York Times Book Review.
Erica Jones has not always been appreciated by the critics because of the bold nature of her writings but Jones is more than satisfied with her life. “What I have fought for in my life,” Jong writes in her book ‘Fear of Fifty’, “and in my books — irony, the double vision that sees good and evil as flip sides of the same human coin, the integration of body and brain, sensuality and spirituality, honeyed voluptuousness and philosophical rigor – these are the things most endangered today.” Jones believes in revealing the needs and desires of women. “I’m always asked in seminars to stand for contemporary womanhood,” she told the Washington Post. “And I’m glad to do it.”