Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the Body of the World, by Eve Ensler

In the Body of the World 
A Memoir
Author: Eve Ensler 
Publisher: Random House 
Publication Date: April 30, 2013

I can't pretend this was an easy read. When the author of The Vagina Monologues goes to the Congo to talk to women who have survived years of systematic rape and mutilation, then fights for her own life against uterine cancer, then writes a book about it, the result is hardly warm and fuzzy. But it is captivating, and inspiring, and oddly uplifting, and even a little bit humourous. 

In a chapter titled "Live By the Vagina, Die By the Vagina," Ensler writes about an experience with a doctor after she had completed her cancer treatment. "If it comes back," he tells her. "We could radiate your vagina." She writes:
"Radiate my vagina. I feel like a character in a futuristic sequel to The Vagina Monologues....Radiate my vagina. Do you know who I am? Do you have any irony?"
Just as Ensler gained strength from the women whose stories broke her heart, because--despite everything--they found ways to survive and so could she, so I found inspiration in her story. Though it did, in so many ways, break my heart.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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