Erica Jong Calls Herself Her Husband’s ‘Deck Monkey’

erica jong Erica Jong Calls Herself Her Husbands Deck Monkey“One of the things that starts happening when you reach your 50s and 60s is a lot of people you love start dying,” Erica Jong said last night during her book party at the New York Yacht Club near Times Square. Dressed in a bright red button-down with black epaulettes and handsomely diamond-studded flannel slippers, she was talking about her new collection of poetry, Love Comes First, and how a lot of the poems in it are about loss.

“Everything I’ve ever written comes out of the poetry,” Ms. Jong said, sipping red wine. “The poetry reminds me of where I came from. It keeps me in the world of the unconscious, the world of metaphor, the world of dreams. For me it’s essential.”

Nearby stood Ms. Jong’s co-hosts: the feminist writer Naomi Wolf, dressed in a sweater that from far away looked to be made of gold shavings, and Daphne Merkin, who said she was going home soon to finish a book review for the Daily Beast.

“One of the things that starts happening when you reach your 50s and 60s is a lot of people you love start dying,” Erica Jong said last night during her book party at the New York Yacht Club near Times Square. Dressed in a bright red button-down with black epaulettes and handsomely diamond-studded flannel slippers, she was talking about her new collection of poetry, Love Comes First, and how a lot of the poems in it are about loss.

“Everything I’ve ever written comes out of the poetry,” Ms. Jong said, sipping red wine. “The poetry reminds me of where I came from. It keeps me in the world of the unconscious, the world of metaphor, the world of dreams. For me it’s essential.”

Nearby stood Ms. Jong’s co-hosts: the feminist writer Naomi Wolf, dressed in a sweater that from far away looked to be made of gold shavings, and Daphne Merkin, who said she was going home soon to finish a book review for the Daily Beast.

A large screen mounted off to the side and away from Ms. Jong’s guests showed a video of the author reading from the book in Central Park. Earlier, she had recited a few of the poems aloud.

“We’ve never had a party here before,” she said, looking around the spacious wood-paneled hall. Charming model yachts stood on display in tall glass cases, and a comically large fireplace filled with logs. Her husband, Ms. Jong said, was a member of the club.

“I love to sail and my husband is a mad sailor,” she said. “We keep our boat in Norwalk, Connecticut. I’m his deck monkey!”

She called over her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, an author in her own right who recently took a job as a literary agent with David Vigliano Associates. Both mother and daughter took off their shoes.

A moment later Ms. Jong-Fast was talking about her new career.

“I sort of liberated myself to be a capitalist,” she said. “My whole life I’ve thought, ‘Ohhhh, I have to be an artist!’”

By around 8:30 the crowd had thinned; a few Yacht Club professionals carried out a tray of uneaten dessert cakes the size of softballs. The Daily Transom lingered to ask Ms. Jong’s husband about the model yachts.