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   Erica Jong Papers, 1955-2011 [Bulk Dates: 1965-2004].

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Erica Jong Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Erica Jong (b. 1942) is an American writer and teacher whose works are often associated with sexuality and feminism. The Erica Jong Papers consist of drafts of Jong's works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The collection also includes project and research files, correspondence, personal memorabilia, photographs, audio-visual materials and printed matter.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1438
Bib ID:6217591 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Jong, Erica.
Title:Erica Jong Papers, 1955-2011 [Bulk Dates: 1965-2004].
Physical description:94 linear ft. (102 boxes: 84 record storage cartons 16 document boxes, 2 oversize boxes)
Language(s): Material is in English, French, Italian, German, Japanese
Access: This collection has restrictions related to student grades, legal and financial documents. The following material is restricted: Box 2, folder 16; Box 62, folders 12-21; Box 63, folders2; Box 70, folders 11 and 12; Box 71; Box 72, folders 1-14; Box 73, folders, 1, 14-16; Box 74, folders 1-13; Box 87, folder 30; Box 88; Box 89; Box 90, folders 1-8. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in six series:

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Description

Scope and Content

This collection contains the correspondence, writings, files, personal materials, printed and audio/visual material relating to Erica Jong's writing and personal life. Correspondence ranges from 1958 to 2004, and comprises a wide variety of correspondents, including business and literary contacts, friends, fans, and relatives.

Among the writings are notes, drafts, correspondence, and publication material pertaining to all of Jong's major published novels and essay and poetry collections, including Fear of Flying, and drafts of several unpublished novels and the scripts for a number of unproduced television series and films. In addition, there is a large quantity of material relating to Jong's book on Henry Miller, The Devil at Large--such material includes correspondence and audio and written interviews. Within the "Personal" series are Jong's early diaries and daybooks, as well as material from Barnard and during her time living in Germany.

The series of "Erica Jong Files", organized by Jong, include research, publication, project, and personal files, which contain primarily legal and business correspondence pertaining to Jong's work, finances, and various business projects.

Among the printed materials are books and journals collected by Jong, as well as newspaper and magazine clippings about Jong. Finally, the Audio/Visual material includes recordings of a number of Jong's readings and appearances on television and radio.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1958-2004

This series is arranged chronologically and alphabetically. The chronological correspondence includes both personal and business correspondence and is organized by decade from the early 1970s through 2011. The alphabetically arranged material retains Jong’s original ordering by person, and includes brief correspondence with a number of figures from the literary, political, and film industries. The folder titles in this section reproduce Jong’s own titles. A cache of letters from Jong’s time as a student at Barnard and Columbia, correspondence from her time living in Germany with her then husband, Allan Jong, and fan mail are also in this series.

Series II: Writings, 1937-2011

Encompassing Jong's entire writing career, this series consists of typescripts, computer printouts, notepads, and proofs and includes drafts of poetry, novels, non-fiction monographs, essays, articles, screenplays, plays, and related peripheral materials such as promotional documents and audio tapes. As a whole, this series reflects the evolution and consistencies of her writing practice--first drafts often written longhand on yellow legal-sized notepads, and subsequent typed or computer drafts.

Subseries II. 1: Poetry, 1966-1998

This subseries contains notes, drafts, proofs, correspondence, and publicity material related to all of Jong's published books of poetry, including At the Edge of the Body, Becoming Light, Fruits & Vegetables, Half-Lives, Loveroot, and Ordinary Miracles. Also included are drafts of a number of unpublished poems, particularly located in the “A to Z” folder, as well as several notebooks containing handwritten notes and early drafts.

Subseries II. 2: Fiction, 1973-2011

This series consists of notes, outlines, drafts, correspondence, and publicity materials pertaining to Jong’s major published novels, including Fear of Flying, Any Woman’s Blues, Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones, How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes & Kisses, Sappho’s Leap, and others. The bulk of this subseries is made up of multiple drafts of each novel and includes some handwritten sections, typescript manuscripts, and publishers' proofs and galleys. Also here are drafts of Jong’s children’s book, Molly’s Book of Divorce, and the typescript of an unpublished novel entitled 2040, Sugar in My Bowl, a treatment for The Scam: A Caper Novel, and Stratford Will.

Subseries II.3: Non-Fiction, 1937-1999

Arranged alphabetically, included here are Erica Jong’s published and unpublished non-fiction works, both longer, book-length works (including The Devil at Large, Fear of Fifty, Witches ) as well as shorter pieces and essays. The working drafts are often heavily annotated. Related materials, including correspondence, notes, interviews, clippings, offprints, printouts, and photographs, have been kept in their original arrangement.

Some Henry Miller correspondence, which pre-dates Jong's acquaintance with Miller, as well as the Jong-Miller correspondence is located in this subseries.

Subseries II.4: Scripts and Screenplays, 1976-1995

Drafts and related correspondence and promotional materials of adaptations of Jong's texts for the screen or the stage comprise this subseries. Some texts are original works designed for visual productions, including a screenplay entitled Love Al Dente written in collaboration with her third husband, science-fiction writer Jonathan Fast.

Subseries II.5: Writings By Others, 1982-2002

Drafts and completed works of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and scholarly criticism sent to, or acquired by, Erica Jong are found in this subseries.

Series III: Personal, 1955-1990

Early Erica Jong material, including class notebooks, essays, and theses from high school and Barnard College; diaries; and some writings and correspondence are located in this series. Also here are some financial files and other documents of a personal nature.

Series IV: Erica Jong Files--as organized by Jong, 1970-2008

This series is composed of a trove of files labeled and organized by Jong. Included here are documents and correspondence related to organizations in which Jong was involved; book reviews, clippings, drafts, essays and articles by and about Jong; requests and invitations to speak; material regarding foreign publishers; various fiction and non-fiction pieces and loose notes; and photographs. Jong's original arrangement of the material has been maintained throughout this series.

Subseries IV.1: Personal / Business Files, 1974-2008

These are numbered and arranged personal files, consisting mostly of business correspondence and documents pertaining to all of Jong's published works. There are also some essays and creative documents, such as a screenplay adaptation of Jong's Fanny Hackabout Jones, in the files.

Subseries IV.2: Project Files, 1970-1993

The material in this subseries pertains to a wide array of Jong's professional and personal projects. As Jong kept her correspondence along with her project files, this arrangement has been maintained. Files named for periodicals usually contain drafts of Jong's pieces written for the given publication.

Subseries IV.3: Business Files, 1974-1995

Jong's business files, which were received labeled and organized, have been kept intact. These files include correspondence and documents pertaining to court cases such as Jong v. Sterling Lord, and the case over the title of Megan's Book of Divorce. Also here are book contracts, publishing agreements, and memoranda, in addition to documents on multimedia projects

Subseries IV. 4: Publication Files, 1970-1993

This subseries consists of reviews, publicity tour details, invitations for readings, contracts, proposals for multimedia adaptation projects, and other projects inspired by Jong's publications.

Series V: Printed Material, 1963-2011

Gathered in this series are books, clippings, magazines, journals, and other published materials related to Jong and her work, or reflecting Jong's professional and/or personal interests.

Series VI: Audio/Visual Materials, 1962-2000

The materials in this series consist primarily of audio cassette tapes and VHS tapes, along with some photographs, reel-to-reel tapes and other media. The cassette tapes include poetry readings, interviews, and audio transcripts of Jong's published works, while the VHS tapes tend to feature Jong's multiple television appearances, as well as some personal recordings.

Four audio cassette tapes of Jong interviewing Henry Miller have been transferred to Audio CDs for preservation and access.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

This collection has restrictions related to student grades, legal and financial documents. The following material is restricted: Box 2, folder 16; Box 62, folders 12-21; Box 63, folders2; Box 70, folders 11 and 12; Box 71; Box 72, folders 1-14; Box 73, folders, 1, 14-16; Box 74, folders 1-13; Box 87, folder 30; Box 88; Box 89; Box 90, folders 1-8.

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Erica Jong Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers accessioned 6/13/2007 PL

Papers processed 2010-2010 Jean-Christophe Cloutier (Columbia University, GSAS 2013) and Aaron Winslow (Columbia University, GSAS 2014).

Finding aid written 05/--/2011 Jean-Christophe Cloutier (Columbia University, GSAS 2013) and Aaron Winslow (Columbia University, GSAS 2014).

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 3, 2011 Finding aid written in English.
    2011-09-03 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Correspondence.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Diaries.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Authors, American--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Barnard College.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Erotica and women.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Erotica.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Eroticism in literature.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fast, Jonathan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Feminism and literature.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Jong, Erica.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Jong-Fast, Molly, 1978-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sexuality and literature.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Author Erica Mann Jong was born on March 26th, 1942, in New York City and was raised on Manhattan's Upper-Westside. Her father, Seymour Mann, founded Seymour Mann Imports, a giftware and home accents store; her mother, Eda Mirsky Mann, a painter, designed many of the dolls in the Connoisseur Doll Collection sold through her husband's business. Jong, a middle child, has two sisters Susanna Mann Daou and Claudia Mann Oberweger. Jong attended the High School of Music and Art, then located on the campus of City University in Hamilton Heights, from which she graduated in 1959. The family, by all accounts, led a comfortable life.

While taking her degree at Barnard College (BA 1963) and her Masters in 18th Century English Literature at Columbia University (1965), Jong published two volumes of poetry-- Fruits & Vegetables and Half-Lives. Jong entered the international literary scene with her best-selling first novel, Fear of Flying (1973), a semi-autobiographical first-person narrative depicting a woman's search for identity and fulfillment. The book, an immediate sensation, has since sold over 18 million copies and has been translated into multiple languages. The novel's protagonist, Isadora Wing, went on to star in many of Jong's subsequent novels, including How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes & Kisses, and Any Woman's Blues. Thus far, as her official websites states, Jong has published "20 books, including eight novels, six volumes of poetry, six books of non-fiction and numerous articles" in major magazines and newspapers. Also known for her association with American writer Henry Miller, Jong wrote The Devil at Large (1993) in honor of their friendship and shared literary aesthetic.

Jong is a teacher as well as a writer and has taught courses or conducted workshops at City University of New York, the Overseas Division of the University of Maryland in Germany, Barnard College, Bennington College, Breadloaf Writers Conference, Ben Gurion University in Israel and the Salzburg Seminar in Vienna. Among her awards are the United Nations Award for Excellence in Literature, Poetry Magazine 's Bess Hokin Award and France's Deauville Award for Literary Excellence.

In 1996 Jong endowed the Erica Mann Jong '63 Writing Fellows Fund at Barnard College.

Jong has been married four times: her first, and briefest marriage, was to Michael Werthman, whom she married while she was still an undergraduate; Jong and psychiatrist Allan Jong were married in 1966; in 1977 she married author Jonathan Fast with whom she had her one, and only child, also an author, Molly Miranda Fast-Jong; in 1989 Jong married attorney Kenneth David Burrows, a graduate of Brown University and Fordham University Law School, to whom she is still married.

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