Through fame and fortune,
author Erica Jong has never
lost sight of her Jewish heritage
rica Jong is exhausted. She
has just arrived in Detroit, the
last stop on a 12-city book pro-
motion tour, was interviewed on TV,
addressed a book and author lun-
cheon, autographed books and is fac-
ing another interview prior to
another book-autographing session —
and she's only had three hours' sleep.
Nonetheless, she reluctantly
agreed to discuss her newest book,
Serenissima (Houghton Mifflin Co.),
and what it's like being a Jewish
writer in America. Speaking to the
author of the best-selling Fear of Fly-
ing, one is left with the impression
that she is proud of her Jewishness,
and has not lost sight of it in the in-
ternational acclaim she has received
for her literary efforts. In fact, it is as
a result of her research in Venice for
Serenissima that she has conceived of
a project to benefit Venetian Jews
specifically and the Jewish people in
During her many visits to Venice, __
Jong has discovered that many of the
old synagogues are falling into
disrepair. It is her hope to be able to
help preserve them. "Venetian
Judaica is fascinating stuff," Jong
remarks. "The synagogues of Venice
desperately need restoration . . . It is
something that is dear to my heart
and I would like to be able to start an
organization that would be specifical-
ly devoted to preserving that Erica Jong: Being Jewish has neither helped nor hindered.
Jong said she found that her she feels she's been a "recipient" of Other Poems and Ordinary Miracles.
Jewish heritage neither helped nor that hatred. According to Jong, it is Besides Fear of Flying, her novels in-
hindered her career. Rather, it was this underlying prejudice that is clude How To Save Your Own Life,
more the content of her books that behind the negative criticism she has Fanny, Witches, Megan's Book of
Divorce, Parachutes and Kisses and
brought her any negative reaction. received.
The twice-married Jong
She recalled that when Fear of Flying
Born Erica Mann in New York Ci- Serenissima.
was first released, she could not get ty, the 45-year-old Jong was
it published in Germany unless she graduated from Barnard College and
removed references to Nazism. She Columbia University, has taught at becoming a writer to "the muse;' and
stood her ground and the book the City University of New York and recalls writing ever since childhood.
became a best seller there and, accor- for the overseas division of the "I was encouraged in my literary
aspirations by family — by my mother
ding to Jong, continues to sell well. University of Maryland in Europe.
and father and my grandparents. I
Jong said she finds that in the
She is the author of several collec- mean everybody thought I was a
U.S. there's "a terrific prejudice
against Jews, and terrific prejudice tions of poetry, among them Fruits writer when I was a little kid and I
against women and terrific prejudice and Vegetables and Half Lives, both of was a wonderful writer when I was a
against sex . and the prejudice is which won awards, and Loveroot, little kid.
"I always wrote, and I always
unspoken and hidden;' and she said Edge of the Body, Here Comes and
WEEK OF JULY 24-31
26000 Evergreen, special
children's program, 2:30
p.m. each Wednesday,
through Aug. 19, 354-5342
DUFFY'S ON THE LAKE
Union Lake Rd., Union
Lake, Ron Coden, 9 and 11
p.m. every Friday and
Saturday through July,
Rachmaninov concert, 8
p.m. Sunday, Schumann
concert, 8 p.m. IThursday,
PINE KNOB MUSIC
60's Fest, 7:30 p.m. today,
Anita Baker, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, and
Monday, Run DMC and the
Beastie Boys, 7:30
Wednesday and the Oak
Ridge Boys, 7:30 p.m.
26000 Evergreen, drop-in
story times for preschoolers,
ages 3-5, 7 p.m. Tuesday,
10:30 a.m. Thursday,
354-5342 or 354-9100.
Northwood Inn, 2593
Woodward, Berkley, Dave
Coulier, 8:30 and 11 p.m.
today and Saturday, Thom
Sharp, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday-
MUSIC IN THE PARK
Shepherd Park, Oak Park,
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, free,
"IN THE PARK"
Shain Park, Birmingham,
Band, 7:30 p.m. Thursday,
Meadow Brook, Baldwin
Pavilion, Johnny Mathis
and Henry Mancini, 8
p.m. today, Detroit
Symphony Pops, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Wayne Newton, 8
p.m. Monday, admission,
THE 1987 STROH'S
Chene Park, Detroit, Diane
Shuur, 8 p.m. Saturday,
Prudential Town Center,
101/2 and Evergreen,
Southfield, The Chris
Nordman Orchestra, 7 p.m.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS