Erica Jong was born on 26 March 1942 in New York. She attended the New York High School of Music & Art in the 1950s, where she developed a passion for art and writing.
Her first novel, Fear of Flying (1973), sold more than 10 million copies and created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman’s sexual desires.
Some people were offended by the book because it contained explicit sex and no-holds-barred language – the book first coined the phrase “zipless fuck” (a sexual encounter for its own sake between two previously unacquainted people) which soon entered the popular lexicon – but mostly they were indignant because a middle-class college-educated American woman admitted to having the same lusts and sexual cravings as American males.
The semi-autobiographical tale of lonely and bawdy Isadora Wing burst on the publishing scene just as the feminist movement was exploding. The saga of Isadora continued in two more novels – How to Save Your Own Life (1977) and Parachutes and Kisses (1984).
Jong has been married four times and continued to write fiction, non-fiction and poetry.