Erica Jong's Sister Bitches Her Out At EventErica Jong's sister has resented her for 35 years, since the publication of Jong's famous novel Fear of Flying. She unleashed her anger recently, and unexpectedly, at a laudatory academic conference on the book at Columbia, telling the New Yorker afterward, "I gave myself permission to be a bitch." She is angry because, she said, her husband was slandered in Fear of Flying, depicted as demanding a blowjob from Jong. But Jong has always branded the book a work of fiction and is shooting insults back at her sister. So begins a feud that is so much more delicious than a trillionth rehashing of Jong's feminist classic.

Jong's sister, Suzanna Daou, made her initial comments in the question-and-answer segment of the conference. She resembles Jong, and introduced herself. Here is how the New Yorker summarized her comments:

"I love my sister very much, but 'Fear of Flying' has been a thorn in my flesh for thirty-five years." The book was, Daou said, "an exposé of my life when I was living in Lebanon"-Isadora Wing has a sister, Randy, who lives in Beirut with her many children and her husband, a Lebanese Christian who makes a pass at his sister-in-law-and also betrayed, she said, an ugly and ill-befitting prejudice. (Jong's Beirut chapter is called "Arabs and Other Animals.") "The book speaks of resentment, and cruelty to family," Daou said, as Jong flushed mutely and a third Mann sister, Claudia Oberweger, who was sitting close by, looked on, aghast.

Later at the event, she elaborated for the magazine:

"Erica used me, and she used my husband, who was a very kind man, a very handsome man. I just felt I had to do it. It was not a novel; it was a memoir, but it was a memoir something like James Frey's memoir. A lot of nastiness went into that book. But I forgive her for everything, except writing that my husband crawled into her bed, which he didn't, and asked her to perform fellatio, which he didn't."

Daou left without saying goodbye to Jong, who later fired back at her sister. She told the New Yorker, "This reminds me of a fairy tale in which the evil fairy comes and makes a curse on the baby... But every intelligent family has an insane member."

Jong said she regretted naming a chapter "Arabs And Other Animals," because when freedom-hating Arab extremists take over the world they will execute her for that. That should quash any further controversy.

New Yorker: Still Flying (Talk of the Town)