Entertainment :: Books

In the Body of the World

by Daniel Scheffler
Contributor
Sunday Mar 2, 2014
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Famed for her no-woman-left-behind play "The Vagina Monologues" Eve Ensler presents her newborn, " In the Body of the World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection". And it’s not even a bit easier than her previous works. In actual fact, it’s more complex and harder to stomach than ever before -- and that is what makes it so unbelievable significant, in the way that you want to recommend it to everyone you know and ask your nearby school to add it to the curriculum.

What makes Ensler’s whisper in my ear echo is her ability to not mince her words. She says it exactly as she experienced it, but avoids sentiment and sensationalism. She almost has no choice but to just pour forth her life, and in this particular book her experience (let’s not belittle her by calling it a struggle) with cancer. Yes she experiences pain, and yes she goes through the toughest time you could possibly imagine, but somehow Ensler doesn’t fall apart in a way that cannot be put back together again. She cracks like an egg and heals herself, possibly by just getting her book down on paper, but also by her pure tenacious, hardcore personality that speaks to women everywhere.

Her book reads as a memoir, but it is really a platform to inspire women.

Even Isabel Allende called it "true literature and true activism" and she should know about that. But besides for discussing her very personal journey she opens up a wound that the Congo has carried for so long -- violent (really violent) episodes of rape. Not only does she write about these horrific incidents without sugar coating them, but she takes action by contacting a Doctor that performs surgery on these splintered women and raising money to aid them all.

Ensler is not for everyone; she’s too fierce. She confronts the truth head on, and most people cannot handle that. They prefer to live in a cushy world, perhaps, or they prefer to ignore the truth that burns brighter than the sunshine. Ensler is an icon, she’s underrated and easily scoffed at as too graphic -- the naysayers are just scared what she’ll expose in them, of course. Her book reads as a memoir, but really it is a platform to inspire women with cancer, women who are mistreated, women who know rape and women who are just trying to find a connection. Amen to Ensler, the world is better because of her.

"In the Body of the World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection"
Eve Ensler
$18.63
Picador

Daniel Scheffler is a writer who spends his time in New York, Cape Town and India. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler

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