*Starred Review* Written in the same format as her watershed work, The Vagina Monologues (1998), Ensler’s latest mélange of dramatic voices continues the mission of her philanthropic organization, V-Day, to stop violence against women. Published for adults but aimed straight at young adults, this volume provides a searing look at the inner lives of young females today in entries that explore sex, violence, love, body image, materialism, identity, family, friends, and the future. “You Tell Me How to Be a Girl in 2010” begins the collection with a furious catalog of the state of a girl’s world, from global war to everyday heartbreak: “Girls younger than me are giving blowjobs / in homeroom / and they don’t even know it’s sex.” The sobering international voices include child soldiers, young sex slaves, girls whose boyfriends hit them, and girls who starve and cut themselves. Other girls speak of honesty, tenderness, freedom, accomplishment, self-love, and defiance: “My short skirt / is not an invitation / a provocation / an indication / that I want it / or give it / or that I hook. . . . My short skirt is happiness. / I can feel myself on the ground. I am here. And I am hot.” With moving forewords by Carol Gilligan and Ensler, this powerful title, interspersed with shocking “Girl Facts,” serves as a potent call to girls to honor their emotions and to readers of all ages to uphold human rights at every level, from the boardroom to the bedroom. --Gillian Engberg
"When I encounter 'teenage girl' stories, whether in novel, play, or film form, I tend to change the channel. Participating in pop culture’s clichéd teen experience is like recalling “simpler times.” It is remembering a past we can never get back, because it never existed. I can’t think of a time when my life was less defined—popularity was a murky concept, rules were rubber, and perfection was always just out of reach.
Leave it to Eve Ensler to get it right. Her new book, I Am an Emotional Creature
, made me want to vomit from its emotional power. Ensler does not coddle the reader; instead she forces us to realize that teenage girls possess the largest untapped energy source in the world. Written in a similar format as her groundbreaking 1996 feminist theatrical work, The Vagina Monologues
, I Am an Emotional Creature
is a disjointed roller coaster of poems, fictional monologues, and scenes inspired by real girls around the world. Much like a quilt, the seams—the disparity between each piece—draw them closer together, even when the girls the stories describe live on opposite sides of the globe.
Ensler’s world is a place where one high-school girl is tortured for her Ugg boots and another is mutilated for having a vagina, and she manages to tell both sides with equal degrees of honesty, courage, and heartache. Ultimately about all girls, this is a tale about dreams, nightmares, realities, boyfriends, fathers, body image, sports, friendship, popularity, mothers, piercings, and poetry. It’s the God’s honest truth, as my mother would say".—Bust Magazine
“A searing look at the inner lives of young females today in entries that explore sex, violence, love, body image, materialism, identity, family, friends, and the future…A potent call to girls to honor their emotions and to readers of all ages to uphold human rights at every level, from the boardroom to the bedroom”—Booklist
"These are sorrowful voices, and the waste is everywhere: waste of beauty, talent, grace. Sometimes their powerful exuberance rises up and you believe they have a shot at happiness."—Los Angeles Times
"I Am an Emotional Creature
" is thoughtful and provocative. Its unbiased acceptance of girls of all types is comforting and inspiring...Parents often lament about the drama and stress of raising a daughter. If they read Ensler's book, it might open up a discussion of the realities of generation Y."—The Associated Press