Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

( 3 )

Overview

"For more than three decades, Erica Jong has ravished the pants off literature's stuffiest stereotypes. Now, in a memoir written with the same sensuality, humor, and unprecedented honesty that made Fear of Flying a classic, Jong reveals her life as a writer: three decades of fame, derision, husbands, lovers, wine, and sometime sobriety. And through it all, writing kept her sane." Jong is refreshingly direct - whether writing sex scenes, evoking the lure of alcohol and grass in the search for ecstasy, or revealing her fling with the (now former)
... See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

Overview

"For more than three decades, Erica Jong has ravished the pants off literature's stuffiest stereotypes. Now, in a memoir written with the same sensuality, humor, and unprecedented honesty that made Fear of Flying a classic, Jong reveals her life as a writer: three decades of fame, derision, husbands, lovers, wine, and sometime sobriety. And through it all, writing kept her sane." Jong is refreshingly direct - whether writing sex scenes, evoking the lure of alcohol and grass in the search for ecstasy, or revealing her fling with the (now former) husband of the world's most famous domestic diva. She tells us about her struggles with the rigid narrative of AA, and how she discovered the joys of both tantric sex and grandmotherhood in her sixties. Equally candid about the privileges of fame and the slaps of notoriety, Jong reveals how writers from Sylvia Plath to Henry Miller have influenced and guided her.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
We should not be surprised that Erica Jong has composed perhaps the strangest -- and certainly the most libidinous -- writer's guide ever written. The author of Fear of Flying has made a career of naked confession. In Seducing the Demon, she writes candidly about three decades of erotic encounters, writing distractions, and her Great White Whale of desire: William Jefferson Clinton.
Publishers Weekly
In four discursive essays and an introduction, Jong (Fear of Flying; Any Woman's Blues) ruminates on the elements of her writer's life. Most notable is sexuality: pursuit of the muse has often meant pursuit of a demon lover, a man utterly wrong for her. She walks away from Ted Hughes in the 1970s, but not from many other wrong men. Jong has had four husbands, one child and 20 books in the past four decades. Now in her 60s, she's well-read, well-traveled, therapized, happily married and sexually satisfied. Her memoir in vignettes asserts that without writing, Jong would go crazy, drink well beyond the excesses of her past and be miserable. Writing has propelled her forward into a fulfilled life. There is a fine section on women writers who pursued death (Plath, Sexton, Woolf); Jong explains why she refused to be one of them. These chatty, gossipy essays are just serious enough to count as literary. Jong, however, shrugs off the immense economic privilege that allowed her to write and travel from adolescence and meet famous people who influenced her writing early. She also never explains how she writes. Engaging and amusing, this work is less substantive than it could or should be. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"The job of a writer is to seduce the demons of creativity and make up stories," proclaims novelist Jong, often regarded as one of the most controversial women writers of our time. Best known for her 1973 work Fear of Flying, she has been called everything from a feminist to a pornographer, and her work has left an indelible thumbprint on the landscape of American literature. Now in her sixties, Jong has much to look back on in this memoir: her life and loves (she married four times); sexuality (and its impact on her work); fame (she befriended everyone from Ted Hughes to Henry Miller); gossip (she allegedly had an affair with the now ex of Martha Stewart); and misfortune (she spent time in rehab for alcohol addiction). Though Jong discusses her parents briefly, any real sense of the author's background and the foundation of privilege that allowed her to become a writer is missing. As a result, the memoir lacks the intensity it would have had if Jong had dug into her familial closet a bit more deeply. Still, Fear of Flying has sold more than 18 million copies a testament that people still enjoy reading Jong. Therefore, this memoir is a fine addition to libraries as a complement to the writer's other works. Valeda Dent, Metropolitan New York Lib. Council Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A zesty, savvy, freewheeling memoir of the writing life, portions of which first appeared in the New York Times Book Review and The Writer magazine. Readers expecting gutsy writing from the author of Fear of Flying (1973) will not be disappointed. Jong vows to tell the truth about herself: her mistakes, her regrets, her divorces, her lawsuits. As she explains it, even the most uncomfortable things she did, she did knowing that she would write about them. She is candid about her addiction to alcohol and her rehab efforts, the time she passed out next to Robert Redford at a dinner party, her night in a Beverly Hills jail for drunk driving and, of course, her sexual encounters. "I kill my enemies with words," she writes, and her rebuttal of Martha Stewart's claim that Jong ruined her marriage is a demonstration of that skill. Her take on Hollywood and the perils of being a novice in the business of turning a novel into a movie could be a book all by itself. As it is, it's a trenchant profile of the late producer Julia Phillips. Her descriptive powers come to the fore in her account of living, loving and working in Venice. From time to time, Jong turns to the art of writing, describing her own character-driven approach to the novel; her techniques for summoning up the muse (or in her case, "seducing the demon" of creativity); and the importance of writing the truth. She also pays tribute to the women poets who influenced her generation, especially Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, who spoke "straight from the female gut." Name-dropping abounds, but not offensively so; it's all part of creating a picture of the world into which Jong was propelled by early fame. Brief stories about her parents'lives suggest another book waiting to be written. If leaving the reader wanting more is the mark of success, then Jong succeeds.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641835674
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/16/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Jong

Erica Jong is the author of nineteen books of poetry, fiction, and memoir, including Fear of Flying, which has more than 18 million copies in print worldwide. Her most recent essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, and she is a frequent guest on television talk shows. Currently working on a novel featuring Isadora Wing—the heroine of Fear of Flying—as a woman of a certain age, Erica and her lawyer husband live in New York City and Connecticut. Her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, is also an author.

Erica Jong left a Ph.D. program at Columbia to write her ground-breaking novel Fear of Flying, published in 1973. Jong is the author of numerous award-winning books of poetry and novels including Fanny, How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes and Kisses, Any Woman’s Blues, and the forthcoming Sappho’s Leap. She is also the author of the memoir Fear of Fifty. She lives in New York City and Connecticut.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Erica JongBarnes & Noble.com: Seducing the Demon is subtitled "Writing for My Life." What demon are you referring to? Erica Jong: I was thinking of a story by I. B. Singer called "Taibele and Her Demon." In it, a beautiful and virtuous young woman sleeps with a man who claims to be a demon.The demon is creativity. She sleeps with risk-taking. You can't be an artist or author without risk-taking, and sometimes the risks are sexual. B&N.com: How did the Seducing the Demon project originate?EJ: I was working on a book of advice for young writers. I started to tell the stories of my life -- the ones I was too scared to reveal -- and I got hooked. My credo is: Don't cut funny. And they were funny, so I published them. B&N.com: Is writing therapeutic for you? EJ: Not really. It makes me happy but has always led to other problems. Telling the truth always has consequences. B&N.com: What's the one bit of advice you wish you'd gotten when you were starting out?EJ: Humor is as serious as pomposity. Ignore self-appointed literary "experts."B&N.com: There's an ongoing debate about how the worlds of fiction and memoir sometimes intersect. Should anyone who reads a contemporary memoir expect everything in it to be absolutely true? EJ: Of course we all see the truth through our emotional lens. That should go without saying. But when I call the book a memoir, the incidents really happened. My opinions about them are my own. B&N.com: How has becoming a grandmother affected your writing? EJ: I see the world as continuing beyond my own death, thank God.B&N.com: Would you ever consider writing a children's book? EJ: Yes. I hope to write one for Max, my grandson. B&N.com: In Seducing the Demon, you accuse the Bush administration of misusing words as it tries to further its agenda. What's the worst example of that you've witnessed? EJ: Their calling coffins "transfer cases" to avoid the term "body bags."B&N.com: Were you surprised that your daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, has followed in your illustrious footsteps and become a writer herself? EJ: I was surprised but not surprised. Actually, I'm flattered.B&N.com: Is it true you're working on a sequel to Fear of Flying? EJ: Yes. The fourth Isadora book. Isadora is in her mid-50s. Wish me luck!
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)