Which unfilmed novel deserves a shot on screen? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own
Credit: Maggie Gyllenhaal: John Spellman/Retna

Which unfilmed novel deserves a shot on screen?

What novel has never gotten the film adaptation it deserves? — Molly
It’s startling to consider that no one ever made a movie out of Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. Then again, you can imagine how the Hollywood of 30 years ago might have screwed it up — by turning Jong’s sexy and searching 1973 novel into a reductively righteous anthem of liberation, and by taking the ribald comic juice out of her search for the perfect ”zipless f—.” Fear of Flying would now make a luscious period piece. The time has never been more right to resurrect the first heroine of do-me feminism, and to look back, with decades’ hindsight, at the era that formed her: the messy, questing, do-what-you-please early ’70s. And who would play the brainy but libidinous Isadora Wing? Here’s a candidate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, who badly needs a role that could tap the playful sensuality she showed in Secretary.