Fear of Flying

Jong, Erica. Fear of Flying. New York: Signet, 1973.

I think I started this book about eight different times, starting when I was 16 or 17. As a kid I always misunderstood the cover art – a naked woman under an unzipped… something. I thought she was in a body bag which, now that I think about it, doesn’t really make sense because if that were the case, she would have been sideways in the bag. Therefore she shouldn’t fit. Having no idea what the book was actually about back then I didn’t know it was a man’s unzipped fly. Now I say, “but of course!” The takeaway from Jong’s Fear of Flying is the underlying message of freedom (especially freedom from fear). To fly is to be free and this is one woman’s story about wanting that ability to become unfettered and free. Her sexuality and psychology are just metaphors for the deeper meaning of feminism and a woman taking control of her life…like a man. Yes, there is sex and lots of it but that’s not what Fear of Flying is all about.

Favorite lines, “A little girl who was neither bitchy nor mealy-mouthed because she didn’t hate her mother or herself” (p 46),

Reason read: May is considered the “Birds and Bees” month so let’s talk about sex.

Author fact: Erica Jong has a sexy website here. I love the colors and the use of multimedia – very eye catching.

Book trivia: According to Jong’s website, Fear of Flying was her first published book.

Reason read: from Book Lust in the chapter called “I am Woman – Hear Me Roar” (p 120).



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