What Do Women Want?: Bread, Roses, Sex, Power

Erica Jong, Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (202p) ISBN 978-0-06-018376-9
Jong is sometimes a lot of fun to read. The ""sometimes"" is the problem with this random collection of essays, some of which bounce off the news headlines and some of which sound like presentations to eager undergraduates. Jong is snippy and funny on the subject of the impotence drug Viagra--would we have expected less from the author of the famously raunchy Fear of Flying? But she can't resist pointing out that she was ahead of her time in 1973 when her heroine Isadora Wing opined on the subject of male limpness. Jong is interesting and trenchant on why we have such mixed feelings toward Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is academic on the subject of Charlotte Bronte and less than discreet about Henry Miller and his seemingly unalloyed admiration of her. She likes Virginia Woolf and Vladimir Nabokov, but it is hard not to balk a little when she describes herself as a ""celebrated writer"" in such company. Judging by her frequent references to her own notorious frankness, the celebration may be more sexual than literary. Complain, complain as ruffled critics have done since Isadora made her noisy debut 25 years ago, but at the end of it all Erica Jong is an original. One may flinch at a writer who can't leave the subject of sex for more than a paragraph or two but at the same time be seduced by one who believes in the power of poetry and introduces her miscellany with the words ""Poetry has saved my life. I think it can save yours."" (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-1-58542-554-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4406-8132-5
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 336 pages - 978-1-4406-8223-0
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-0-06-098445-8
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4406-8496-8
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