What would Erica Jong read?

Erica Jong, perhaps best known for her debut novel Fear of Flying, has just written a new book: Fear of DyingHer latest both follows up on and expands the world of Isadora Wing, focusing instead on Isadora’s best friend, Vanessa Wonderman. The New York Times recently asked Jong (who has also published several collections of poetry, meditations on the writing process, and novels that take place outside of Isadora’s world) for her top ten favorite books; the list ranges from classics of women’s literature, to political memoir. Here’s a glimpse of what Erica Jong would read (for the rest, click through to the New York Times.)

  1. A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz: “A marvelous autobiography of a writer.”
  2. To the End of the Land by David Grossman: “A novel that explores the Israeli-Arab problem better than any I have read.”
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: “A young woman suffers a breakdown while pursuing her dream of being a magazine editor. Plath made it possible for women to confront our anger and make literature out of it. She made it acceptable to declare our rage.”
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: “A younger woman comes to serve as governess in an English country manor — and falls for the mysterious owner of the house. There is so much about this book that was revolutionary. You have a heroine who is plain, but she’s clever. Also, Jane is a woman who speaks her mind — she doesn’t lie to please the establishment, or to please men.”
  5. Home Before Dark by Susan Cheever: “A wonderful biography of a father by a daughter who is just discovering who her father was.”
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