Monday, February 28, 2011

I am an emotional creature: The secret life of girls around the world

By Eve Ensler

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is the first book by Eve Ensler that I have read, and I am unfamiliar with anything she has produced previously; thus, in my review I have depended on others to judge the book.  I can say this about it: It is a short read and very provocative.  By provocative I simply mean that it makes you think — deeply.  It is full of poems, and some of them link together thoughts and ideas and words.

“The Compulsive Reader” from Big Rapids, MI, writes a terrific review of this book at Amazon.com.  I am quoting the entire review here because I agree with the insights shared — completely:

“I Am an Emotional Creature is, quite simply, a book of diverse monologues, told by young girls all around the world. Whether these girls' stories are familiar or foreign to you, they all are confronting the complex issue of defining oneself in a world full of contradictions, where girls are told they must be polite and pretty and perfect to fit in, yet are encouraged to be strong and independent and to dream big at the same time. Every girl's story is unique and equally jarring, from the simple confrontation of peer pressure in the average high school to tales of girls sold for sex miles and oceans away. This book is filled with girl stories: those forced to undergo unwanted plastic surgery, working in far-away factories making Barbies, pregnant girls, anorexic girls, and girls just talking. Each story is surprising and alive.

I Am an Emotional Creature is a hybrid in the style in which it is told. Though most of the monologues are straightforward prose, poems and scripts are sprinkled throughout these fictional stories, made even more realistic by the many "Girl Facts" interspersed throughout the book. Ensler captures the essence of being a girl and being human without being trite or even touching on clich├ęs, and the result is a bold, incisive, emotional, and achingly real testament to teen girls and their power and verve. This book will not only make you think, but also quite possibly change the way you think about teen girls today.”

The front flyleaf says this about the book: I Am an Emotional Creature is a celebration of the authentic voice inside every girl and an inspiring call to action for girls everywhere to speak up, follow their dreams, and become the women they were always meant to be.”

From the back flyleaf, “About the Author”: Ensler “is an internationally best-selling author and an acclaimed playwright whose works for the stage include The Vagina Monologues, Necessary Targets, and The Good Body . . . Ensler is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to and violence against women and girls.  In the last decade, V-Day has raised more than $70 million for grassroots groups that work to end volence against women and girls around the world.”

Michael Dorenzo of Santa Cruz, California, wrote this on Amazon.com: “I ordered this book after listening to Ms. Engler's talk and performance of the piece, ‘I am an emotional creature" on TED Talks via You Tube. It was sent to me by one of my ‘girls’ on the east coast who works at Cornell University and who sent it to all her girls, both female and male. I quickly sent it to all of mine.

“I have mentored girls through my work at UCSC and in my community and family and it always brings me such joy to be around them...Hearing her perform the poem from which the book gets its name simply rocked my world. I couldn't wait to order the book.

“It addresses in the most direct way the girl in all of us...that most precious of resources that we tend to abandon, repress, abuse and disown in so many ways and in accordance with so many cultural directives. It is a beautiful articulation of the wild, creative, dangerous, indomitable feminine--both an affirmation and a call to action.

I'd like to give the book to all the girls I know.“


This book is available at Amazon.com: I am an emotional creature: The secret life of girls around the world

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