Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fear Of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir (Harperspotlight)” as Want to Read:
Fear Of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir (Harperspotlight)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fear Of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir (Harperspotlight)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  372 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Seducing the Demon has introduced Erica Jong to readers who hadn't been born when Fear of Flying was published in 1973. Now one of her finest works of nonfiction -and a New York Times bestseller-is back in print with a new afterword.

In Fear of Fifty, a New York Times bestseller when first published in 1994, Erica Jong looks to the second half of her life and "goes right
Mass Market Paperback
Published by HarperPrism (first published 1969)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fear Of Fifty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fear Of Fifty

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 668)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The four months before my fiftieth birthday I spent in what would be our new home, alone. And not only alone in the sense of being the only one living in the house, but also in the sense of human life around me, for our new home lies deep in the forest in a tiny village of (now 8, (but then 5). No shops, no restaurants, no cinema, no trappings of 'civilization', or at least not without driving an hour and a quarter or more. My goals were two-fold: Could I survive in such an environment, and coul ...more
Jun 08, 2010 Dawne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literati of a certain age.
Recommended to Dawne by: NPR
I would have to agree with Susan Cheever that this is the best book about being a woman I have ever read. I seem to be devouring the memoirs of women of a certain age, as they keep me from total panic over my impending birthday. Here's a little nugget I liked:

Part of us wants to love like the goddesses--
coldly and capriciously. Part of us owes
allegiance to Kali, eating her lover and
attaching his skull to her waist. Part of us
wants to love like Juno, scooping up mortal men,
toying with t
I haven't read any of Jong's other books and I don't know I'd want to. Probably a strange thing to do; read her memoir of sorts and not really have idea of who she is or what she's written but recently I was going through my bookshelves and was disgusted at how many books I own that I haven't yet read. Jong's "Fear of Fifty" being one of them. So before I get to read one of my tasty new books that are sitting on my nightstand, I had to force myself to read one of the neglected ones on my shelves ...more
My copy of Jong's first memoir is completely highlighted in pink because so much of what she says echoes my own experience. On page 13 she describes the effect of emotional tyranny in her life,
"No complaints. Everyone needs something to shape a complicated character. Tyranny was the forcethat crteated my love of liberty, my identification with the underdog, my passion for the rights of man-and woman."

She also says, "We (women) must learn to be whole creatures in order to make women's freedom a
Linda Robinson
With any luck, Jong will do Sashaying Toward Seventy. I found in my journal the word "sprezzatura" which means making the difficult look easy, and I know it's from this book.

Also: "...past fifty, we learn with surprise and a sense of suicidal absolution, that what we intended and failed, could never have happened." by Robert Lowell ~ "For Sheridan".

Cheery, innit?
Sharayu Gangurde
One of the BEST BOOKS written by a feminist! I couldnt put this book down. It is easy reading, and very warm and candid. Erica Jong writes beautifully. All GIRLS must read it. It is that good. (Dont go by the title and classify it as something our mothers or women nearing/over fifty should read.)
Fear of Fifty – A Midlife Memoir is a treasure, a gift to my 50-something-year-old self.

Erica Jong told about her 50-year-old self – the struggles, the balancing act, the feelings, the parenting, the men, the adventures, and the poems. Through her words, I gathered insights, advice, stories and encouragement, kind of like peering through the peephole on the door to an even richer mid-life.

Fear of Fifty is a gem, a loving guidebook to other women.
While testing out for the first time adobe ebook downloads via library checkout, I grabbed this one, and now I'm reading it. Downloaded (free) Bluefire reader app, and can now read all adobe ebooks on the ipad.

The book itself was appealing in terms of book references, authorly quotes, wee bits of gossip concerning unlikely ones and other tidbits, which brings it up to a 3-star review.
I read this book, but I honestly don't remember it well. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten most of the Jong books I've read and I'm not sure why. Does anyone have similar problems with authors?
Laura Durnell
I bought this book at Women & Kids First during a time in my life I would rather not remember. Meeting her in person for the first time is my only wonderful memory from that epoch.
Nicki Conroy
A lengthy review will come on my blog. I loved this book. So many great points made.
Lori Crossley
Have just fallen in love with Erica Jong!
I read Fear of Flying when it came out, so can't remember it save for the 'zipless fuck' phrase and that I enjoyed it, a breath of fresh air.

So I was intrigued by the 'Fear of Fifty' title. It turned our to be a a memoir of sorts from Jong, who sees herself as a writer and feminist, and has - from my perspective - a more traditionally 'masculine' attitude towards sex and relationships. Found it interesting and thought-provoking, but often purposefully vague.
Apr 05, 2007 Vix rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women/Artists
First off, I love Erica Jong and I love Fear of Flying which is the ultimate book to read for young chicas.
This is about Erica as a person, her difficulty navigating the roles of woman and artist, and her confidence/confusion as she approaches 50.
What I love though is that through her recapping her past you get all these little insights and understanding of what it is to be a woman in the complicated world we live in.
It's like sitting at the kitchen table with your mom and your old aunts and lis
Beautifully gifted artist writer with a wry yet good humored, worldview and a penchant for adventure!
I loved Erica Jong 20 years ago but I found this a bit hard to get into, it did improve as it went on and generally is a good read, but I guess when I was a 20yo and reading Fear of Flying, no other Erica Jong book could feel that fabulous
بثينة محمود
I read a small part of this book translated to Arabic, It touched me a lot, thought it's me who was writing this as it resembles my own style!
I should have a copy in English just to feel the full joy.
some good parts but too much ranting on social issues from skewed feminist perspective
I am a feminist but Erica is pushing the poor oppressed rich and successful me envelope
Not worth reading for me. I gave up after starting it.
hmm. maybe i should re-read this when i'm 50.
Very thought-provoking.
Don't bother.
Nuriafdez is currently reading it
Jul 02, 2015
Angela marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2015
Shannon marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Neha Israney
Neha Israney marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Kathy marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brave Fish: Identity, Love, Faith
  • The Camera My Mother Gave Me
  • Ten Points
  • Game on: Find Your Purpose--Pursue Your Dream
  • Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180
  • The Real Girl Next Door
  • Fountain of Age
  • Easter Everywhere
  • Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality
  • Through These Veins
  • Total Forgiveness
  • Pure Love, Pure Life: Exploring God's Heart on Purity
  • Madonna
  • 9 Things You Simply Must Do To Succeed in Love and Life
  • The Tao of Bruce Lee: A Martial Arts Memoir
  • When Horses Had Wings
  • The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
  • The Pope & the CEO: John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard
Erica Jong—novelist, poet, and essayist—has consistently used her craft to help provide women with a powerful and rational voice in forging a feminist consciousness. She has published 21 books, including eight novels, six volumes of poetry, six books of non-fiction and numerous articles in magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times, the Sunday Times of London, Elle, Vogue, and the New Yor ...more
More about Erica Jong...
Fear of Flying How to Save Your Own Life Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones Sappho's Leap Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

Share This Book

“That is what you love a friend for: the ability to change your angle of vision, bring back your best self when you feel worst. And speak the truth -- but without malice. Loving candour is the secret of friendship.” 8 likes
“How did I get to be a grown-up? At times, I find myself still sitting on the hillside, plotting revenge against the adult world.” 7 likes
More quotes…