The narrator is a female author of erotic poetry, which she publishes without fully realizing how much attention she will attract from both critics and writers of alarming fan letters.
Brian, a certified genius, begins to fall into delusions, believing himself to be the second coming of Christ. Or maybe my psyche had begun to change in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
He becomes violent, raping Isadora and choking her close to death in one mental break. The fantasy that had riveted me to the vibrating seat of the train for three years in Heidelberg and instead of turning me on, it had revolted me! There was no longer anything romantic about strangers on trains.
She reveals that she met her first husband, Brian, in college, where they connected over their mutual love of literature and ability to walk for hours while quoting poetry.
This ended when they married, and became a “bourgeois” couple, not seeing each other, not having sex, disconnecting.
But Isadora’s desperation to feel alive and her developing feelings for Adrian lead her to the toughest decision: to return home with Bennett, or to go to London with Adrian. One night, Bennett finds Adrian and Isadora in bed together and joins them, in an adventurous sexual act that Bennett never acknowledges afterward.
Finally, through an emotionally taxing and melodramatic letter that she never delivers to Bennett because he once again walks in and interrupts her, Isadora decides to leave with Adrian.
He commented, "A sexual frankness that belongs to, and hilariously extends the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and Portnoy's Complaint." It was in this novel that Erica Jong coined the term "zipless fuck", which soon entered the popular lexicon. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. Finally it was acknowledged that desire and fantasy are a good thing and not entirely condemnable in women, and Jong wanted to harness that newfound respect for desire into a piece of art that brought the intersections of sexual and nonsexual life together, something she felt was missing in literature.
“At the time I wrote Fear of Flying, there was not a book that said women are romantic, women are intellectual, women are sexual—and brought all those things together." But she also points out the drawbacks of a sexually liberated life, acknowledging that sexuality “is not the cure for every restlessness.” Male critics who interpreted Isadora as being “promiscuous,” were actually misinterpreting her acts - in reality, she has an active fantasy life but doesn’t in reality sleep with many men.
The novel is written in the first person: narrated by its protagonist, Isadora Zelda White Stollerman Wing, a 29-year-old poet who has published two books of poetry.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating