Fear of Flying by Erica Jong is a 340-page hardcover published by Holy, Rinehart and Winston, 1973, stated first edition. The dust jacket has small chips and closed tears along the edges. The back corner flap has a 1 1/4" tear. Inside, there is light fading along the edges and bumping to the spine. The pages are clean and unmarked and the binding is sound.
Fear of Flying is the story of Isadora Wing, one of the most hilarious and touching anti-heroins to appear in recent fiction. A compulsive daydreamer, a seeker of saviors and psychiatrists, the author of a book of supposedly erotic poems, and a full-fledged phobic who fears flying but will not allow that fear to keep her off planes, Isadora relates her adventures and misadventures with wit, exuberance, and the sort of absolute candor that for centuries was permitted only to men.
On a trip to Vienna to attend a psychoanalytic congress with her psychiatrist husband, she meets an uninhibited Laingian analyst who seems the embodiment of all her steamiest fantasies. He lures her away from her husband on an existential jaunt across Europe, sleeping by roadsides, changing partners with people met at campsites, re-evaluating her life in some painful and funny ways. But the trip proves to be a journey backward in time as well as a reshuffle of the present. Increasingly, Isadora is haunted by ghosts of the past: her ex-husband, the graduate student who thought he could walk on water and almost tried it in Central Park; a conductor who loved his baton; a Florentine philanderer; a professor of philosophy; and any number of miscellaneous lays in the night. She is also haunted by her outrageous and amusing family: an artist mother who adores and resents her children; a father who makes wisecracks and money in abundance; and three sisters who have fled the family to marry a black, an Arab, and an Israeli, and are now raising their polyglot children from Boston to Beirut.
Though Isadora fears flying, she forces herself to keep traveling, to risk her marriage and her life in pursuit of her own brand of liberation. How she finds it and loses her fear is what this intensely readable, witty, and sad novel is about.