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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Consider yourself lucky that famed writer and feminist icon Erica Jong is stopping in Denver to read from and sign her new book, Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex; she’s on her way up to Aspen to teach in the mountain town’s Summer Words extravaganza, and the Tattered Cover was a convenient stop. And fittingly, she’ll use some of the lessons she learned writing Sugar in My Bowl at the workshop she’s teaching on “How to Write the Story of Your Life,” in which she’ll teach people how to write interesting memoirs.

“Life has no plot,” she notes, “and in order to make the story of your life interesting, you often have to use fictional techniques. That doesn’t mean you’re lying; it does mean that you’re crafting it to make it exciting.” Jong describes herself as somewhat of a “born teacher,” and she feels she found herself as an editor in the process of putting together Sugar in My Bowl. “The idea initially came from a publisher,” Jong notes, “and initially, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, because I’ve been so typecast with sexuality in literature, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do an anthology at all. But many, many very good writers wanted to be a part of it, and when the pieces started to come in, they were so varied and different. None is explicit, but each has a different aspect to share.”

And there were some surprises in the process, too. “Some writers wanted to ask permission of their children or spouses,” Jong reveals. “Women are not Anthony Weiner. They’re very careful, and they think it’s their obligation to hold the family together, and I think that sometimes kind of causes women to not want to write about their personal lives.”

But she still managed to collect pieces by Eve Ensler, Gail Collins, Daphne Merkin, Anne Roiphe, Liz Smith, Naomi Wolf and more for this collection. Jong will read from and sign Sugar in My Bowl at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; call 303-322-7727 or visit
Fri., June 24, 7:30 p.m., 2011


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