By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Best known for her play “The Vagina Monologues,” feminist writer and activist Eve Ensler has devoted much of her life to educating the world about the female body. After a decades-long career of encouraging others to consider, analyze, and discuss the value of and discourse surrounding their bodies, Ensler is ready to share her own story. On Tuesday, April 30, Ensler will appear at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO to celebrate the launch of her new memoir “In The Body of the World” (Metropolitan Books / On Sale April 30).
In her book, Ensler candidly recalls her complicated relationship with her body – a relationship that, despite her commitment to openness, was often clouded by diffidence. Her writing is at once poetic and raw. In the opening chapter, she writes, “A mother’s body against a child’s body makes a place. It says you are here. Without this body against your body there is no place. I envy people who miss their mother[…]The absence of a body against my body created a gap, a hole, a hunger. This hunger determined my life.” Deeply affected by her mother’s remoteness and her father’s sexual abuse, Ensler reveals that she herself has struggled to achieve the self confidence that she so vigorously encourages in others.
Yet rather than hide from her bodily insecurities, Ensler made it her mission to confront some of the issues that plague women across the world. She writes about the period she spent working in the Congo, where she encountered a horrifying culture in which women are violently raped, and goes on to discuss her battle with uterine cancer – both experiences that, while overwhelmingly difficult, enabled her to connect to her own body and gave her the confidence to help others do the same.
Ensler’s memoir reveals her tremendous strength, and perhaps that strength is so poignant because she is also unafraid to reveal her vulnerability. From one of the world’s most dynamic female activists, “In The Body of The World” is at once a deeply personal and universal narrative.
The April 30 event begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $30 (ticket price guarantees an autographed copy of the book). powerHouse is located at 37 Main St. in DUMBO.