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Fear of Flying, Erica Jong (1973)

Feminism goes zipless

Katie Roiphe
September 17, 2013

To give us a woman as uncontrolled, as objectifying, as narcissistic, as frank, as sex-obsessed, as philosophically, comically mesmerized by their own desires as any of the men dreamed up by Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, D. H. Lawrence, or Philip Roth, was Jong’s great, startling achievement in The Fear of Flying. Isadora Wing is the great- great- great- and so forth granddaughter of Lilith, the long-forgotten ex-wife of Adam, whom one imagines was the true inventor and pioneer of the “zipless fuck.”

Katie Roiphe is a professor at New York University, and the author of In Praise of Messy Lives, and Uncommon Arrangements.