Botox, bulimia, breast implants: Eve Ensler, author of the international sensation The Vagina Monologues, is back, this time to rock our view of what it means to have a “good body.” “In the 1950s,” Eve writes, girls were “pretty, perky. They had a blond Clairol wave in their hair. They wore girdles and waist-pinchers. . . . In recent years good girls join the army. They climb the corporate ladder. They go to the gym. . . . They wear painful pointy shoes. They don’t eat too much. They . . . don’t eat at all. They stay perfect. They stay thin. I could never be good.”

The Good Body
starts with Eve’s tortured relationship with her own “post-forties” stomach and her skirmishes with everything from Ab Rollers to fad diets and fascistic trainers in an attempt get the “flabby badness” out. As Eve hungrily seeks self-acceptance, she is joined by the voices of women from L.A. to Kabul, whose obsessions are also laid bare: A young Latina candidly critiques her humiliating “spread,” a stubborn layer of fat that she calls “a second pair of thighs.” The wife of a plastic surgeon recounts being systematically reconstructed–inch by inch–by her “perfectionist” husband. An aging magazine executive, still haunted by her mother’s long-ago criticism, describes her desperate pursuit of youth as she relentlessly does sit-ups.

Along the way, Eve also introduces us to women who have found a hard-won peace with their bodies: an African mother who celebrates each individual body as signs of nature’s diversity; an Indian woman who transcends “treadmill mania” and delights in her plump cheeks and curves; and a veiled Afghani woman who is willing to risk imprisonment for a taste of ice cream. These are just a few of the inspiring stories woven through Eve’s global journey from obsession to enlightenment. Ultimately, these monologues become a personal wake-up call from Eve to love the “good bodies” we inhabit.


From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Eve Ensler:
“Eve Ensler can soar to Rabelaisian heights or move us with quiet compassion. . . . She may not save the world, but what other playwrights even think of trying?”
Time

Acclaim for The Vagina Monologues

“Spellbinding, funny, and almost unbearably moving . . . It is both a work of art and an incisive piece of cultural history, a poem and a polemic, a performance and a balm and a benediction.”
Variety

“The monologues are part of Eve Ensler’s crusade to wipe out the shame and embarrassment that many women still associate with their bodies or their sexuality. [They] are both a celebration of women’s sexuality and a condemnation of its violation.”
–The New York Times

“Women have entrusted Eve with their most intimate experiences. . . . I think readers, men as well as women, will emerge from these pages feeling more free within themselves–and about each other.”
–GLORIA STEINEM




From the Hardcover edition.