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Black Tie International:
Fourth "Food for Thought" Luncheon

Jacqueline Weld Drake and Erica Jong

Jacqueline Weld Drake and Erica Jong
Photo by: Patrick McMullan

elling Author Erica Jong
Talks Sex, Feminism and More,

Headlining Literacy Partners "Food for Thought" Luncheon


June 1, Literacy Partners, New York City's only
nationally accredited adult literacy program, held the fourth
and final luncheon in their annual Food for Thought series. 
The intimate event featured a presentation by
 Erica Jong, bestselling a
uthor of 22 books including the
 groundbreaking novel
Fear of Flying and her new anthology,
Sugar In My Bowl:  Real Women Write about Real Sex

Literacy Partners Honorary Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake
hosted the insightful Q&A.


During their conversation, Jong discussed the importance
of women writing about what is still viewed as a controversial
issue: sex.  "Women who write about sex are not
taken seriously as writers.  That is exactly why we
 must do it," said Jong. 


Jong and Weld Drake also discussed the differences
between how each generation deals with the topic. 
"We failed to corrupt our daughters," explained Jong. 
"My daughter thinks, they had sex, so we don't have to". 
 Jong went on to comment that the current generation of
women is not compelled to feel like they have to define
themselves by saying yes. 


During her interview with Weld Drake, Jong noted,
"Just look at the headlines and the current allegations against
Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  Women think, 'Why would a man
 want to be with a woman if there is no intimacy?'  We, as women, ask this because what women want is the feeling of being desired,
loved and needed.  Men, I think, clearly view
sexuality in a very different way."


Weld Drake also spoke with Jong about her view of feminism going forward. Jong  mused, "We assume things move ahead in a
straight line, when indeed they do not.  If they did, why are we
still fighting the same battles about sexual and reproductive choice."


Held at the legendary New York restaurant Le Cirque,
 luncheon committee members in attendance included
Martha Bograd, Patricia Beard Braga, Ellie Cullman,
Barrett Frelinghuysen, Jacqueline M. Garrett, Cristina Grassi,
 Lois Nasser, Marjorie Reed, Susan W. Rotenstreich,
Betty Sargent, Anne Sitrick, Joan S. Steinberg,
Stephanie Stokes.


The event was also attended by Merel Cayne, Amy Fine-Collins,
Sharon Handler, Ambassador Brenda Johnson,
 Katherine McGraw Berry, Jonathan Marder, Emily Rafferty,
 Ann Rapp, Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman,
Marina Wolkonsky-Galesi
and Literacy Partners Vice-President
 Parker Ladd, Executive Director Susan McLean, and
Board Members Peter Brown and Katharine Hinton


#     #     #


For nearly 40 years, Literacy Partners has helped thousands of
 New Yorkers learn the basic reading, writing and math skills needed
to succeed in day-to-day living.  Through successful collaborations
with major corporations, community partners and benefactors,
 Literacy Partners offers small, welcoming classes taught by
credentialed teachers, supported by enthusiastic, highly trained,
volunteer tutors.  Literacy Partners is the only nationally accredited
 adult literacy program serving New York City. 

For more information, visit


Joyce Brooks

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