Jong was born and grew up in New York City. She is the middle daughter of Seymour Mann (né Nathan Weisman, died 2004), a drummer turned businessman of Polish Jewish ancestry who owned a gifts and home accessories company known as "one of the world's most acclaimed makers of collectible porcelain dolls". Born in England of a Russian immigrant family, her mother, Eda Mirsky (born 1911), was a painter and textile designer who also designed dolls for her husband's company. Jong has an elder sister, Suzanna, who married Lebanese businessman Arthur Daou, and a younger sister, Claudia, a social worker who married Gideon S. Oberweger (the chief executive officer of Seymour Mann Inc. until his death in 2006). Among her nephews is Peter Daou, who writes "The Daou Report" for salon.com and was one-half of the dance-music group The Daou.
Jong has been married four times. Her first two marriages, to college sweetheart Michael Werthman and to Allan Jong, a Chinese American psychiatrist, reflect those of the narrator of Fear of Flying. Her third husband was Jonathan Fast, a novelist and social work educator, and son of novelist Howard Fast. This marriage was described in How to Save Your Own Life and Parachutes and Kisses. She has a daughter from her third marriage, Molly Jong-Fast. Jong is now married to Kenneth David Burrows, a New York litigation attorney. In the late 1990s Jong wrote an article about her current marriage in the magazine Talk.
Jong lived for three years, 1966–69, in Heidelberg, Germany, with her second husband, on an army base. She was a frequent visitor to Venice, and wrote about that city in her novel, Shylock's Daughter. Jong is mentioned in the Bob Dylan song "Highlands."
In 2007, her literary archive was acquired by Columbia University in New York City.
Jong supports LGBT rights and legalization of same-sex marriage and she claims that 'Gay marriage is a blessing not a curse. It certainly promotes stability and family. And it's certainly good for kids.'
Read more about this topic: Erica Jong
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