In the Body of the World

Publisher: Random House Canada
From the bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues and one of Newsweek's 150 Women Who Changed the World, a visionary memoir of separation and connection--to the body, the self and the world.

Playwright, author, and activist Eve Ensler has devoted her life to the female body--how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she has spent much of her life disassociated from her own body--a disconnection brought on by her father's sexual abuse and her mother's remoteness. "Because I did not, could not inhabit the body or the Earth," she writes, "I could not feel or know their pain."

But Ensler is shocked out of her distance. While working in the Congo, she is shattered to encounter the horrific rape and violence inflicted on the women. Soon after, she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and though months of harrowing treatment, she is forced to become first and foremost a body--pricked, punctured, cut, scanned. It is then that all distance is erased. AS she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully--and gratefully--joined to the body of the world.


“A one-of-a-kind cancer memoir.... In the Body of the World is reminiscent of two other books by internationally bestselling American female authors—Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.... A new classic on the inspirational spectrum.”
The Gazette
“Ensler’s fight with cancer is detailed with breathtaking candour in her new book In the Body of the World. More than a cancer memoir, it’s a call to action: for readers to connect to their own bodies, and to do something for the world—before it’s too late (for us as individual humans, and for humanity)…. Even if she emerged healthy and changed for the better, Ensler does not whitewash the hell of cancer. She details the most invasive of procedures and does not shy away from the most personal of details.”
—Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail
“Inspiring and courageously candid.”
—Marianne Schnall, The Huffington Post
“Extraordinarily riveting, graphic story of survival.... Her anatomy of the invasion of women’s bodies is often difficult to read; the lesson she learns is that in order to heal, she has to submit her body to a renewed source of love and joy.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A masterpiece. Ensler has accomplished the impossible: woven huge, bold, world-changing ideas together with beautiful writing, amazing metaphors, and original structure. Truly one of the most courageous and original works of our time."
—Naomi Klein

“Every page is a revelation. Every chapter a song of awakening, an aria of truth. I will press this book into the hands of those I love, saying, ‘you must read this, now.’” 
—Ami McKay, author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure

“Eve Ensler’s vibrant cosmopolitan voice refuses to be silenced by an abusive past or virulent disease, for she has seen larger suffering. Connected by activism to survivors of sexual violence in Bosnia, The Congo, Serbia and many other countries, her memoir is a valiant unflinching exploration of what it takes to survive a personal form of war. Ensler displays the courage to relinquish expectations of rescuers and saviors, and remain a warrior against sexual violence even as she fights for her own survival. This book left me feeling porous, larger, connected to people everywhere.”
Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of The Selector of Souls
“This book is a ride, a river ride through rapids and depths and shallows, dried-up eddies, whirlpools and torrents, crystal-clear pools and the vast ocean at the end. What a thrill and what a spear through the heart. I am astounded by the honesty and clarity of each word.”
Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder and senior adviser of Omega Institute
“By turns fierce and tender, Eve Ensler’s new memoir is both warrior whoop and maternal inspiration. Shining a deft light on the common disconnect we have with our own bodies and that of the planet we share, Ensler dares us to surrender comfort, and find healing and wholeness through compassionate action. In the Body of the World is a provocative and compelling testimonial.”
—Billie Livingston, author of One Good Hustle
—Mary Oliver

“Eve Ensler’s memoir is not only wild and raw and incredibly important, it’s also that other rarest of achievements—a compulsively readable, stunningly rendered work of art that delivers hope and truth, challenge and solace, sometimes simultaneously. Yes, you need this book.”
—Alexandra Fuller, author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

“Ensler has written a profound and vulnerable book, full of tenderness and strength. I was amazed by the clarity of her vision and the power of her message about the body and self. This book isn’t meant only for patients; it is meant for anyone whose life has intersected with illness—in short, for all of us.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
“Eve Ensler incarnates the pain of the women in the Congo, victims of rape and torture; and of the Earth, victim of so much desecration. Her heart and body are broken, her anger is like fire, and the passion of her writing rattles your soul. This is true literature and true activism.”
—Isabel Allende
“I dare anyone to read In the Body of the World without crying, without crying out, without getting up and rising to this beautiful broken world with awe and gratitude. There is no pity here, only the raw force of courage in the face of fear and violence, and the healing grace of honesty.”
—Terry Tempest Williams

“Ensler’s writing is part rock-and-roll, part sacred text. A shamanistic energy runs through In the Body of the World along with a raw exuberant appetite for life. How can something so searing, strike such a blow for joy?  More than a memoir.”
—Ann-Marie MacDonald, internationally bestselling author of Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies

“Eve Ensler has been such a significant force for such a long time—who’d have thought she’d find a whole new way to use her voice? She is one of the world’s foremost explorers.”
—Emma Forrest, author of Your Voice in My Head