Picks and Pans Review: Megan's Book of Divorce

updated 07/09/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/09/1984 01:00AM

by Erica Jong

Jong originally entitled this book Molly's Book of Divorce, after her own daughter, Molly Miranda, by novelist Jonathan Fast, her third and last ex-husband. Fast threatened to sue to force her to change the name, arguing that using "Molly" violated their divorce agreement; Jong then sued Fast for $4 million in damages, alleging he had interfered with publication of her book. The source of all this turmoil is a sometimes witty, sometimes precious book, illustrated by Freya Tanz. Ostensibly aimed at children, it seems to have more to do with adult catharsis than youthful understanding. "Megan" is a precocious 4-year-old dedicated to reconciling her estranged parents, both screen-writers who live in California. She says such things as "Jeremy is 5, and I am going to marry him. Then we can have a baby and get divorced." She plots against her parents' new mates, then decides their recoupling might be beneficial. "If they all stop fighting, you can have four grown-ups to hug you instead of two and twice as many presents every birthday," she says. Questions have to be raised about a mother who would use her daughter's name in a project like this and a father who would complicate matters by making a big deal out of it. Good luck, Molly. (New American Library, $10.50)

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