Most helpful positive review
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Scientific poetry of the body
on October 23, 1999
Woman: An Intimate Geography is the most delightful and informative book on the physiology of women I have ever read. The range of Angier's research leaves almost no aspect of the female body unexplored or unexplained. Even, for example, such barbaric rituals as infibulation and clitorodectomy (still shockingly practiced in as many as 28 countries) are depicted for us in a rare combination of absolute fidelity to scientific detail, and with a moral outrage that is paradoxically spiritual.
WOMAN, throughout its nearly four hundred pages, is exquisitely written. By brilliantly blending her scientific data with acute personal insights and by her expert use of language--exuberant and optimistic when the message is merry, solemn and meticulous when the message is most serious--Angier manages to create for her reader a kind of scientific poetry of the body.
Ms. Angier's book should appeal to women of all ages: to adolescents for whom she lucidly illuminates the lovely tapestries of their bodies; to women of child-bearing age whom her encyclopedic information will help in making the difficult reproductive decisions of our era; and it will appeal to older women who have lived through so much feminist history (and turmoil)since Simone de Beauvoir first expelled us from the Garden of Ignorance. Angier's stylistic eloquence bathes us all in her affection and respect for women; she blesses us with the strength and resilience of her language; she nourishes us, evoking our most primordial response even as we absorb her intellectual richness at their source--giving us what every human needs--affection and knowledge, from our stem cells to the final Silence.