Video from a Live Talks Los Angeles event with Erica Jong in conversation with Susan Orlean on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Fear of Flying. Event was held at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica. For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles, and to see more videos, visit: livetalksla.org
Erica Jong grew up in Manhattan and majored in writing and literature at Barnard. She received her MA in 18th-century English literature from Columbia and left before finishing her PhD to write Fear of Flying, which has sold 20 million copies worldwide. She has written award-winning poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Before Hannah from Girls, Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, there was Isadora Wing, the uninhibited, outspoken protagonist of Erica Jong’s revolutionary novel. First published in 1973, Fear of Flying caused a national sensation, fueling fantasies, igniting debates about women and sex, and introducing a notorious phrase to the English language. Forty years later, Isadora’s honest and exuberant retelling of her sexual adventures—and misadventures—continues to provoke and inspire, and stands as an iconic tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.
Susan Orlean, the author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend and The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, has been called “a kind of latter-day Tocqueville” (The New York Times Book Review). Orlean is fascinated by American stories of every stripe. From Rin Tin Tin, the orphaned German shepherd who became a silent film star in the 1920’s, to John Laroche, the convicted felon who slinks through the swamps of southern Florida looking for rare orchids, Orlean has an eye for the moving, the hilarious, and the surprising. She has written for The Boston Globe,Vogue, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Outside, and The New Yorker, and has edited both Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. Orlean’s writing has inspired two films, includingAdaptation, the Academy Award-winning film directed by Spike Jonze and starring Meryl Streep. Orlean lectures on Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, her encounters with extraordinary people, her experiences traveling the world, the value of ignorance, and women and the media.