“People always think that history proceeds in a straight line. It doesn't. Social attitudes don't change in a straight line. There's always a backlash against progressive ideas.” – Erica Jong
Born on this date in 1942, Jong is a novelist, satirist, and poet, known particularly for her 1973 novel Fear of Flying, famously controversial for its attitudes towards female sexuality. To date it has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
Jong earned degrees from Barnard and Columbia, where she majored in English Literature, and started writing for magazines and journals before trying her hand at fiction. Fear of Flying was her first effort and catapulted her into a successful lifelong career. She has now authored 11 novels, 8 nonfiction books, and 7 books of poetry.
While fiction has led to most of her fame, she says she really enjoys poetry and has just completed a new book of poetry – The World Begins With Yes – slated for publication in 2019.
“In poetry you can express almost inexpressible feelings,” she said. “You can express the pain of loss, you can express love. People always turn to poetry when someone they love dies; when they fall in love.”
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