Sunday, June 09, 2013

Eve Ensler -- In the Body of the World

“I could not put it down.” I have heard people say that about a book and I have read reviews that said that about a book and I always thought that sentence meant, “This is a really good book.”

I have read many really good books so I thought, “Well, I’ve had that experience too.” Until this morning. This morning, because the Sunday paper was late and I wanted to sit on my couch with coffee –my favorite thing early on a Sunday—I picked a book from the pile of new books waiting for me.

My thinking went something like: “Eve Ensler, vagina chick, great play, oh here’s more about vaginas, but she’s an important public intellectual, better take a look, probably can skim this, get the drift, then be done.”

I read the jacket cover and inside blurbs. And was thinking: “Oh, she had cancer, that’s too bad. Wonder when I’ll get cancer again, look how she uses her life experience to make art, even cancer, good for her.”

Then I started to read. Introduction was intriguing, “She’s going to make women’s bodies, child abuse, war, the Congo, activism and the environment a whole. How in the hell can she pull that off?”

Then chapter one.

It’s been almost an hour and a half, and I kept saying, “One more, I’ll just read one more chapter.”

I could not put it down.

Except for this part of me that feels so compelled to tell you what I am seeing and thinking and feeling and wondering about. So I got off the couch to come here to say to you:

Eve Ensler’s new book is called “In the Body of the World” and it’s about a woman’s body and women’s bodies and rape and nature and a child’s sexual abuse and a grown woman’s addiction, and friendship and medicine and the Mayo clinic and the scariest kinds of surgeries, and it’s about the Congo and hope where, really, there shouldn’t even be hope and it’s also about language and transforming personal experience and shit—literally shit—into art.

And I could not put it down.

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