Jong reinvented sex in the '70s with Fear of Flying, which advocated the "zipless fuck"—no-strings adultery. The novel has been translated into 27 languages and sold more than 12 million copies.
The child of wealthy and bohemian New York Jews, Erica Jong was educated at Barnard and Columbia. She started out writing lousy poetry, but hit the big time with her first novel, Fear of Flying—published in 1973 when she was 30—which charts the adventures of Jong's alter-ego Isadora Wing, who is on a quest to find fulfillment beyond her stultifying marriage. Jong has since written several more novels, including Fear of Flying sequels, and various works of non-fiction like a study of Henry Miller, memoirs, and essays, most notably the collection What Do Women Want? in which she wrote in gory detail about having a facelift at the age of 52.
Jong has been married four times: Her first husband, whom she married at 20, went insane; her second marriage was to Chinese-American psychiatrist Alan Jong (cheating on him inspired Fear of Flying) and next up was writer Jonathan Fast. Her current husband is Ken Burrows, a divorce lawyer. In a not-so-surprising twist, Martha Stewart has said that Jong ruined her marriage to Andy Stewart by sleeping with him some 30 years ago. [Image via Getty]