Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

by Erica Jong

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Erica Jong's memoir-a national bestseller-was probably the most wildly reviewed book of 2006. Critics called it everything from "brutally funny," "risqu? and wonderfully unrepentant," and "rowdy, self-deprecating, and endearing" to "a car wreck."* Throughout her book tour, Jong was unflappably funny, and responded to her critics with a hilarious essay on NPR's All Things Considered, which is included in this paperback edition. In addition to prominent review and feature coverage, Jong was a guest on Today and Real Time with Bill Maher. Even Rush Limbaugh flirted with Jong on his radio program: "I think she wants me. I think she's fantasizing about me." Love her, hate her, Jong still knows how to seduce the country and, most important, keep the pages turning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101042434
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/15/2007
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 324 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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.


An Interview with Erica Jong

Barnes & 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& 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& 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& 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& 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& How has becoming a grandmother affected your writing?

EJ: I see the world as continuing beyond my own death, thank God.

B& Would you ever consider writing a children's book?

EJ: Yes. I hope to write one for Max, my grandson.

B& 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& 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& 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!

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Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thank Miss Jong for sharing her life with the public. God bless her. It takes one to be one to know one. The first day I became a writer, I started to understand the twilight zone of being that one. This is a good book showing the symbolic path that almost every one of us has to go through. All of her 20 books have touched a million human hearts and this book 'Seducing the Demon' had touched a million and one which is mine.
ntempest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intriguing look at the life of writer Erica Jong, including her views on writing, politics, feminism, relationships, and motherhood. It's particularly interesting given some of Jong's experiences and the people with whom she has associated over the years. Also delves into her feelings regarding her daughter, Molly, and the terrifying drug addiction she lived through in her teen years. In some ways, I found this memoir more interesting than Jong's fiction.
citygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This memoir is full of juicy anecdotes and valuable insights, but at the same time, it seems as if it were thrown together. The appearance of an anachronistic detail in one of the anecdotes caused me to doubt somewhat the book's veracity, but one should always beware novelists; that's what Jong herself writes. The book is worth reading for the insights on the writing process and the life of a writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after hearing Ms. Jong interviewed on NPR and was intrigued. I also picked up Fear of Flying (having never read it) and Fear of Fifty (as the age is breathing down my neck). I read the three books within a week. As I read Seducing the Demons, I could not help thinking, 'didn't I just read this?' This book is good on it's own, but it seems to be a more concise and updated version of Fear of Fifty. Even the 'advise' to writers did not seem much different than her musing on writing in Fear of Fifty. All three books made for fascinating reading, but my money, Fear of Fifty was the meatier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: look up newb. Gender: F. Looks: is a black cat with violent red eyes a collar with teeth and a raven skull and she has very very sharp and long claws. Personality: is always up for a fight and is very bitter and mean rarely kind. Powers: fire, wind, teleportation, heat vision and very strong, smart and agile. Weaknesses: princes and princesses. Age: 10 months. Other: she hates the word 'tasty' and she claws you when you say it
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Writers write and all others make excuses is the old maxim and that is what Erica Jong has discovered in her life as a writer. She always knew she was a writer but did not know how to venture to the other side. She would fantasize with her favorite authors, she would meticulously keep notes of wisdom from great writers. Then she finally wrote a book about a woman writer who was afraid of writing and it became an all time best seller in Fear in Flying. In Seducing the Demon: Writing for my Life by Erica Jong, Jong does a marvelous job of expressing her inner thoughts and exposing the vulnerability that makes her writing so enjoyable. You sense you are somehow captured in the intimacy of her brain. This book is more than merely understanding the writer¿s life but it allows anyone to realize that they hold the key to unlocking the path to discovering and living their dreams.