You’re Never Too Young to Write a Memoir

My 9-year-old daughter Maddie ought to start writing her memoirs…because if she waits much longer, she’ll be too old and have too much life experience.

Molly Jong-Fast, 26, has just released her memoirs. It’s about time. She’s the daughter of FEAR OF FLYING author Erica Jong and granddaughter of novelist Howard Fast (I don’t get why her name Jong-Fast if Howard is her grand-father rather than Fast-Jong, maybe there’s a chapter on that).  Her book is called THE SEX DOCTORS IN THE BASEMENT: TRUE STORIES OF A SEMI-CELEBRITY CHILDHOOD. If it was a full celebrity childhood, we would have seen her memoirs in print ten years ago.  The Associated Press reports that:

It’s a tale of growing up amid New York’s wealthy and famous, a tale of nannies, secretaries, potential stepdads and eccentric relatives — including Jong-Fast’s grandfather, novelist Howard Fast, a one-time Communist with a 1,100-page FBI file. In fact, she decided to share her stories with the world not long after 83-year-old Fast married his much younger secretary.

“I thought … this is the time to write about these
people because they are so nuts,” said the young author, dressed in jeans, a black shirt and fuzzy light blue slippers, her long, wavy blond hair hanging loose. Jong-Fast’s tone is irreverent, and she doesn’t shy away from such things as her grandfather’s obsession with his reviews in The New York Times or how her
grandmother’s stomach “looked like a tushy placed slightly higher up on the
wrong side of her body.”

I’m kicking myself. I should have started my memoirs when I was sixteen… when my newly-divorced Mom was named by San Francisco Chronicle as one of the ten sexiest women in the Bay Area and started dating a priest.  I could be on volume four of my memoirs by now…

Erica Jong, 63, is not about to be outdone by her daughter. Her memoirs will be out this fall.

3 thoughts on “You’re Never Too Young to Write a Memoir”

  1. You should read last week’s (I think) The New Yorker. Someone wrote a personal essay about his San Francisco socialite mother and her mission to use kids to deliver messages of peace to during the 80s. Just a funny coincidence in light of what you say in this post.

  2. The New Yorker article by Sean Wilsy was fascinating, to me, as I was part of that era and knew his mother – she was all he says she was and then more. His father was a jerk, marrying her best friend who’s husband then married Danielle Steel, I think. Was major chatter all over the bay area at the time. Your brother Tod tells me that Sean’s piece is from his memoir.
    Re you doing a memoir…. your mother was named sexy by the Oakland Tribune and some book on singles that came out of LA,not the Chron. The Chron chronicled her running for Queen of the Little Jim Club at Children’s Hospital.
    Speaking of a Jim. You said your mom dated a priest. Right and wrong.
    It was two priests, and both named Jim.
    Now she never even gets asked out to a movie. There must be some moral to that story, but not sure what it is…
    Your blog is like a daily column, how you find the time is beyond me, but I try and read it all the time because it is so well-written, reads like you talk so flows easily… and as your cousin Anea Barer said, it’s the best place to learn about what is going on with you, your siblings, and your formerly sexy mom.


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