Fear of Flying: Fortieth-Anniversary Edition by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying: Fortieth-Anniversary Edition

byErica Jong

Kobo ebook | October 18, 2011

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Bored with her marriage, a psychoanalyst’s wife embarks on a wild, life-changing affair

After five years, Isadora Wing has come to a crossroads in her marriage: Should she and her husband stay together or get divorced? Accompanying her husband to an analysts’ conference in Vienna, she ditches him and strikes out on her own, crisscrossing Europe in search of a man who can inspire uninhibited passion. But, as she comes to learn, liberation and happiness are not necessarily the same thing.


A literary sensation when first published in 1973, Fear of Flying established Erica Jong as one of her generation’s foremost voices on sex and feminism. Nearly four decades later, the novel has lost none of its insight, verve, or jaw-dropping wit. 


This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erica Jong, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Title:Fear of Flying: Fortieth-Anniversary EditionFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 18, 2011Publisher:Open RoadLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1453222081

ISBN - 13:9781453222089


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Poor Poster Child According to John Updike, Erica Jong's FEAR OF FLYING "belongs to, and hilariously extends, the tradition of CATCHER IN THE RYE and PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT, that of the New York voice on the couch, the smart kid's lament...... fearless and fresh, tender and exact". Nor is he alone in his praise. But having read this novel, I am at a loss to understand what all the fuss is about. Published in 1973 and set in 1971, when the feminist movement was gaining momentum, this novel revolves around Isadora Wing, a twenty-nine year old aspiring writer and poet who accompanies her psychoanalyst husband, Bennett, to a conference in Vienna. There is some sex, much talk about sex, endless male bashing, and a protagonist immersed in her own self-pity, who, as the title suggests, fears flying. In fairness, the male characters leave much to be desired. Isadora's ex-husband is literally a lunatic and her current husband, Bennett, is emotionally distant. The object of her affections, the sometimes vulgar Adrian, also a psychoanalyst, is, like Isadora, selfish to a fault. Their odyssey through several European countries is undertaken without regard for their spouses (or children, in Adrian's case). Indeed, Isadora is arrogant enough to think that any decision to eventually return to Bennett to pick up where they left off will be hers alone to make. Relations with her mother and sisters are also strained and Isadora frequently obsesses over the poor hand that she thinks life has dealt her. Everything that goes wrong is someone else's fault or attributed to some patriarchal conspiracy, and her self-pitying, woe is me, I'm a victim narrative gets tedious. It is also rich, given that she grew up middle class and eventually married a doctor. Finally, any novel written in the first person runs the risk of enhancing a reader's perception that the protagonist is me oriented. But this story can still be a success if the author's intent is to get inside the head (and be critical) of a spoiled, immature, narcissistic, twenty-nine year old woman/ girl. Conversely, the author fails if, as I suspect, her objective is to portray her protagonist as a leading light in a feminist crusade. Any group, feminist or otherwise, ought to be downright insulted if someone of Isadora's ilk is portrayed as their poster child. Sadly, this novel merits two stars at best. PS: I'll still recommend that people read FEAR OF FLYING and form their own conclusions.
Date published: 2015-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing read I LOVED this book, Erica Jong is a very insightful author and has some intresting points of view. I fully support the reference of Erica as the female Henry Miller.
Date published: 2008-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fresh and funny I read this 30th anniversary edition of Fear of Flying while taking the train to visit my mother in the hospital, a woefully adult event. I had just turned 30, and although the events of the book took place 30 years prior to my reading it, I was pleased to find how much of it withstood the passage of time, and how funny and sympathetic the heroine, Isadora Wing, turned out to be. Isadora is an upper-middle-class Jewish girl from New York City, travelling in Vienna with her husband, a stuffy analyst. She embarks on a road trip/affair with another married analyst, and through the course of events, tells the story of her romantic adventures as well as her life and upbringing as a nice, neurotic, Upper West side girl. She's over-educated, under-employed, and completely unsure of how to handle herself with men, publishers, and her very married uber-fertile sisters. The book provides something a discourse on feminism as it started to move out of academia and bohemia and into middle-class neighbourhoods. And it's an examination of (admittedly square) sexuality as a road to freedom (of sorts). Although over 30 years have passed since its publication, I appreciated the frankness of its sexual depictions in a society still marred by fear of sexuality, the body, and women's power. Likewise, I appreciated Isadora's vulnerability in admitting that she still needs a man to be whole, while fighting with her urge to be on her own. While we've "come a long way" as women, as intellectuals, and as forgers of our path, feminists still suffer from the same neuroses as Isadora--which instinct to follow, which mistakes to make, and how to be accountable without bearing the blame for everyone else. It's a crazy line to walk, and both Isadora and Erica Jong as her creator recognize the dilemma and explore it in brainy, satisfying, humourous, and often surprising ways. It's not a perfect novel, but it's one that's not afraid of its imperfections.
Date published: 2007-03-14