Molly Jong-Fast, a writer and journalist, is a columnist for The Forward and a regular contributor to The Bulwark. She is the author of a memoir, Girl, Maladjusted (2004), and two novels, Normal Girl (2000) and The Social Climber’s Handbook (2011). (February 2019)

Follow Molly Jong-Fast on Twitter: @MollyJongFast.


My Mother’s Daughter

Kaufman Desert House, designed by Austrian architect Richard Neutra, Palm Springs, California, 1970

When my mother took the flustered German filmmaker to see her elderly shrink, I snuck into the bedroom and called my father who had recently moved to Palm Springs, California. “Did you know that you and mom had an open marriage?” I asked him. We had a sort of jovial relationship; we shared the experience of having a crushingly powerful parent and it was a sort of bond. By the time I was three years old, my parents embarked upon the hippie version of irreconcilable differences. As a consequence, I don’t remember them ever being together, which is probably a good thing. There was a brief pause on the line. “Oh, is that what she’s calling it now?”