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Publishers Weekly, 2013-03-11 In this extraordinarily riveting, graphic story of survival, Ensler, an accomplished playwright (The Vagina Monologues) and activist in international groups such as V-Day, which works to end violence against women, depicts her shattering battle with uterine cancer. Having felt estranged from her body for a lifetime, and been molested as a girl by her father and enthralled by alcohol and promiscuity early on, Ensler as a playwright was seized with a political awareness of the dire violence committed against women across the globe. At the age of 57, she was blindsided when she discovered that her own health emergency mimicked the ones that women were enduring in the developing countries she had visited: "the cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed... the cancer of buried trauma." Her narrative, she writes, is like a CAT scan, "a roving examination-capturing images," recording in minute, raw detail the ordeals she underwent over seven months. These include her crazed, "hysterical" response to the diagnosis and her treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as well as extensive surgery, chemo, radiation, and caring by a "posse" of companions in misery, like her estranged sister, Lu, and far-flung friends such as Mama C, the head of the City of Joy women's center in the Congo. Her anatomy of the invasion of women's bodies is often difficult to read; the lesson she learns is that in order to heal, she has to submit her body to a renewed source of love and joy. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2013-06-24 Best known for her seminal play The Vagina Monologues, Ensler recounts her time working in the Congo to help a female populace ravaged by rape and warfare. It's an emotionally wrenching time for Ensler, who is later diagnosed with uterine cancer and finds herself forced to undergo months of invasive treatment. Ensler draws thematic connections between the two subjects-her own body's treatment and that of women throughout the world. Ensler's narration in this audio edition is as rich and personal as the text itself. One can sense her frustrations as her body rebels against her. Yet as a reader, Ensler's range is limited, her performance often lacks subtlety, and she fails sometimes to transition smoothly between sections. A Metropolitan hardcover. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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