I got a real kick out of reading about Erica Jong getting a public chastizing from her sister, as reported in The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town:
“I have the distinct honor of being Erica’s sister,” Suzanna Daou, née Mann, said. “I love my sister very much, but ‘Fear of Flying’ has been a thorn in my flesh for thirty-five years.” The book was, Daou said, “an exposé of my life when I was living in Lebanon”—Isadora Wing has a sister, Randy, who lives in Beirut with her many children and her husband, a Lebanese Christian who makes a pass at his sister-in-law—and also betrayed, she said, an ugly and ill-befitting prejudice. (Jong’s Beirut chapter is called “Arabs and Other Animals.”) “The book speaks of resentment, and cruelty to family,” Daou said, as Jong flushed mutely and a third Mann sister, Claudia Oberweger, who was sitting close by, looked on, aghast.
Man! I would have liked to have been there so that after her sister had delivered her statement I could have followed up with a Nelson-like: “HA! HA!”
I admit I’ve never actually read Fear of Flying. Why should I? I’m a white, male. Actually, I tried a couple of times. I figured I’d feast on a book with an opening chapter titled “The Zipless Fuck.” But I didn’t. I suppose it was pretty …cool or whatever at the time. But who is still interested in this book now? Who read it? Does anyone, except those who were made drunk with giddiness at the liberal use of “fuck” and “cunt”?
Shit, I talk that way all the time, and all I inpsire are disapproving looks. What? What?