boldtype
Molly Jong-Fast
Normal Girl.
Molly Jong-Fast
  Normal Girld  
Molly Jong-Fast    
Molly Jong-Fast reads from Normal Girl

Interview with Molly Jong-Fast

Excerpt from Normal Girl
 

Her mother, Erica, redefined the way women view their sexuality and introduced the term "zipless" into the lexicon of the one-night-stand. Her father is the science fiction novelist Jonathan Fast, whose highly-publicized divorce from Erica thrust Molly into the spotlight. Her grandfather Howard is the author of Spartacus, among other bestselling, singular works. And now Molly Jong-Fast is an author in her own right, and as is typical of an industry populated by cynics and sycophants alike, much has been written about her that has more to do with her roots than with her writing. At 21 years of age, she handles her fame with an aplomb that could only come from years of experience, years of offering sound bytes and photos to the media under the guise of being the precocious child of famous parents. By the same token, she reminds us that she is a recent-teenager, peppering her conversation with references to Melrose Place and rolling her eyes at the mention of a recent argument with her mother over use of the car.

When I arrive at her sprawling Upper East side one-bedroom, Jong-Fast gives me a whirlwind tour of her extensive art collection. The first and most important stop is in front of some of her grandmother, Bette Fast's, sculptures and paintings. Other works include those by a couple of talented ex-boyfriends and a few animated portraits of a very young Molly, drawn by family friend and renowned illustrator Lee Lorenz.

Jong-Fast's phone rings no less than seven times in the hour that I am there; she is busy dodging calls from realtors who want to buy her apartment. When a secondary line rings she explains to me the importance of keeping a "boy line," a number given only to a select few people from whom she will always be happy to hear: "It's for boys--not that there are any right now--and really close friends."

Over coffee (extra-large, very light iced with several packets of Equal) and cigarettes (Parliament 100s), we discuss Jong-Fast's book, Normal Girl, as well as a myriad of topics both related and not: adolescent alcoholism, famous parents, Roe versus Wade, her fear of flying. Despite her famous pedigree, it is evident that Molly Jong-Fast has plenty to say and has found the first of many platforms with which to do so. Her honesty and awareness, both of herself and of the world at large, are impressive.

Normal Girl follows Miranda Woke, a seasoned 19-year-old New Yorker with a famous set of parents and a well-honed booze and drug addiction, on the road to disaster and then recovery. If it sounds auto-biographical in part, it is. But as Jong-Fast explains, it is also largely a social parody, a scathing and witty mirror held up to a society where vices run rampant and a Darwinistic sense of survival prevails. Despite the many forces that could challenge her, Jong-Fast has clearly learned to navigate the rough waters of such a world and has come out on top.


--Laura Buchwald
 
Bold Type
Bold Type
Bold Type
     
 
  Send us comments