I got to know about Eve Ensler through Rukun, who works at Random House India. She was pretty excited about this memoir and I asked her why. She told me about Eve when I met her at a bloggers meet and that’s when I requested her to send me a copy of this book and like always, she obliged me with a copy of it. As soon as I saw it, I got on with it and the kind of revelations book threw at me in the first few pages at me, my mind was blown. We all know the condition of women in India but in some other parts of the world, it is worse than that. I am not drawing comparisons here but this is a fact and you would know it when you will read this book. The kind of things the Eve has revealed about the condition of women in Congo (Africa) will certainly give you shivers.
Coming back to the memoir, Eve has shared her memories, experiences of the time when she was struggling with cancer. What I absolutely loved about her writing is, she is extremely unapologetic about what she thinks, practices, writes and believes. Absolute respect for her. I like such people. Also, the intensity of the book gets on to you and you just keep reading it on and on and on till you reach the last page. Funny, touching and true to the core, In The Body Of The World by Eve Ensler is something that opened my mind in many ways.
The period when Eve was struggling with cancer, it brought back all the memories of her life. Abused by her father at a very young age, not so supportive mother, a rebel in herself, Eve did it all and held herself high. How her compassion towards fellow women increased manifolds when she got to know about their problems and the situations they are dealing with.
There is one part of this book that hit me real hard, I don’t know if it is right to share an excerpt from the book here, but here it is –
“There is something so dull and brutal about data.
Stage IVB cancer survivor, rape survivor. But I am not data and I don’t want to be dismissed and judged by categories and grades. Tell someone you were raped and they move away. Tell someone you lost your money and they stop calling. Tell someone you have become homeless and you become invisible. Tell someone you’ve got cancer and they are terrified. They don’t call. They don’t know what to say. What if our understand of ourselves were based not on static labels or stages but no our actions and our ability and our willingness to transform ourselves? What if we embraced the messy, evolving, surprising, out-of-control happening that is life and reckoned with its proximity and relationship to death? What if, instead of being afraid of even talking about death, we saw our lives in some ways as preparation for it? What if we were taught to ponder it and reflect on it and talk about it and enter it and rehearse it and try it on?
What if our lives were precious only up to a point? What if we held them loosely and understood that there were no guarantees? So that when you got sick you weren’t a stage but in process? And cancer, just like having your heart broken, or getting a new job, or going to school, were a teacher? What if, rather than being cart out and defined by some terminal category, you were identified as someone in the middle of a transformation that could deepen your soul, open your heart, and all the while – even if and particularly when you were dying – you would be supported by and be a part of a community? And what if each of these things were what we were waiting for, moments of opening of the deepening, and the awakening of everyone around us? What is this were the point of our being here rather than acquiring and competing and consuming and writing each other off as stage IV or 5.2B?”
The above excerpt, I read it at least 5 times before I moved on. So hard-hitting. The intensity which with Eve writes off everything compels you to laugh, cry, introspect about various things. Absolutely, absolutely loved the book. I can go on and on about this book but what I would like is, you read this book once and I am sure you would understand what I am trying to say through this review.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Random House India
Genre : Memoir
ISBN : 978-8-184-00402-1