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A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer: Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls

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Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams • Edward Albee • Tariq Ali • Maya Angelou • Periel Aschenbrand • Patricia Bosworth • Nicole Burdette • Kate Clinton • Kimberle Crenshaw • Michael Cunningham • Edwidge Danticat • Ariel Dorfman • Mollie Doyle • Slavenka Drakulic • Michael Eric Dyson • Dave Eggers • Kathy Engel • Eve En Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams • Edward Albee • Tariq Ali • Maya Angelou • Periel Aschenbrand • Patricia Bosworth • Nicole Burdette • Kate Clinton • Kimberle Crenshaw • Michael Cunningham • Edwidge Danticat • Ariel Dorfman • Mollie Doyle • Slavenka Drakulic • Michael Eric Dyson • Dave Eggers • Kathy Engel • Eve Ensler • Jane Fonda • Carol Gilligan • Jyllian Gunther • Suheir Hammad • Christine House • Marie Howe • Carol Michèle Kaplan • Moisés Kaufman • Michael Klein • Nicholas Kristof • James Lecesne • Elizabeth Lesser • Mark Matousek • Deena Metzger • Susan Miller • Winter Miller • Susan Minot • Robin Morgan • Kathy Najimy • Lynn Nottage • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy • Sharon Olds • Hanan al-Shaykh • Anna Deavere Smith • Diana Son • Monica Szlekovics • Robert Thurman • Betty Gale Tyson • Alice Walker • Jody Williams • Erin Cressida Wilson • Howard Zinn This groundbreaking collection, edited by author and playwright Eve Ensler, features pieces from “Until the Violence Stops,” the international tour that brings the issue of violence against women and girls to the forefront of our consciousness. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of brutality, neglect, a punch, or a put-down. Here is Edward Albee on S&M; Maya Angelou on women’s work; Michael Cunningham on self-mutilation; Dave Eggers on a Sudanese abduction; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother; and Sharon Olds on a bra. These writings are inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic, and beautiful. But above all, together they create a true and profound portrait of this issue’s effect on every one of us. With information on how to organize an “Until the Violence Stops” event in your community, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer is a call to the world to demand an end to violence against women. “In the current era, it takes some brain racking to think of anyone else doing anything quite like Ensler. She’s a countercultural consciousness-raiser, an empowering figure, a truth-teller.” –Chicago Tribune


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Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams • Edward Albee • Tariq Ali • Maya Angelou • Periel Aschenbrand • Patricia Bosworth • Nicole Burdette • Kate Clinton • Kimberle Crenshaw • Michael Cunningham • Edwidge Danticat • Ariel Dorfman • Mollie Doyle • Slavenka Drakulic • Michael Eric Dyson • Dave Eggers • Kathy Engel • Eve En Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams • Edward Albee • Tariq Ali • Maya Angelou • Periel Aschenbrand • Patricia Bosworth • Nicole Burdette • Kate Clinton • Kimberle Crenshaw • Michael Cunningham • Edwidge Danticat • Ariel Dorfman • Mollie Doyle • Slavenka Drakulic • Michael Eric Dyson • Dave Eggers • Kathy Engel • Eve Ensler • Jane Fonda • Carol Gilligan • Jyllian Gunther • Suheir Hammad • Christine House • Marie Howe • Carol Michèle Kaplan • Moisés Kaufman • Michael Klein • Nicholas Kristof • James Lecesne • Elizabeth Lesser • Mark Matousek • Deena Metzger • Susan Miller • Winter Miller • Susan Minot • Robin Morgan • Kathy Najimy • Lynn Nottage • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy • Sharon Olds • Hanan al-Shaykh • Anna Deavere Smith • Diana Son • Monica Szlekovics • Robert Thurman • Betty Gale Tyson • Alice Walker • Jody Williams • Erin Cressida Wilson • Howard Zinn This groundbreaking collection, edited by author and playwright Eve Ensler, features pieces from “Until the Violence Stops,” the international tour that brings the issue of violence against women and girls to the forefront of our consciousness. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of brutality, neglect, a punch, or a put-down. Here is Edward Albee on S&M; Maya Angelou on women’s work; Michael Cunningham on self-mutilation; Dave Eggers on a Sudanese abduction; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother; and Sharon Olds on a bra. These writings are inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic, and beautiful. But above all, together they create a true and profound portrait of this issue’s effect on every one of us. With information on how to organize an “Until the Violence Stops” event in your community, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer is a call to the world to demand an end to violence against women. “In the current era, it takes some brain racking to think of anyone else doing anything quite like Ensler. She’s a countercultural consciousness-raiser, an empowering figure, a truth-teller.” –Chicago Tribune

30 review for A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer: Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A collection of essays, skits, poems and short stories about violence against women and girls. I liked that this book is not an argument for feminism. It doesn't have to be. Very powerful and disturbing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Kellenberger

    A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer: Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls is POWERFUL. This is a collection of essays, plays, poems, and short stories about violence against women and girls. It's a difficult read because the content is disturbing, but there is no denying that it is eye-opening. We need to know these stories in order to prevent these actions from happening to others. It's clear to me that we still have a lot of work to do.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Violence against people is nothing new and has been going on forever. The violence against women and girls is it’s own sort of horror. Some of the stories in this collection will rip your heart out. These stories would certainly be emotional and unforgettable if read to an audience, as was Eve Ensler’s goal. The “Until the Violence Stops” Festival and numerous V-Day Events, where these stories are shared with an audience, have increased the awareness of violence against women and girls, it’s pre Violence against people is nothing new and has been going on forever. The violence against women and girls is it’s own sort of horror. Some of the stories in this collection will rip your heart out. These stories would certainly be emotional and unforgettable if read to an audience, as was Eve Ensler’s goal. The “Until the Violence Stops” Festival and numerous V-Day Events, where these stories are shared with an audience, have increased the awareness of violence against women and girls, it’s prevalence, and it’s lasting effects.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Bergstrom de Leon

    A read that will rend your heart, spirit and mind. But a read that begs us to not turn away from the violence nor the victims of violence across our globe. It is never easy to bear witness to the suffering of others, much less the silent, dismissed and denied suffering of so many women and girls, but if no one looks, if no one will listen can our world ever change? These stories will break you. Dare to be broken.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Danyel

    This book has left such a strong impression in my mind. These stories both fictional and real stirred something in me. It made me question my own sense of femininity. It made me question my security and it made me question the type of world we live in. Fantastic!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    It is a bit dated and I was surprised with how many male writers were included. I think I also expected all non-fiction and was strangely thrown off when I realised it wasn't.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Satterlee

    This is a powerful group of essays, stories, plays, and poems about, among other things, the importance of awareness, especially of the value of marginalized voices. The subject matter of inclusiveness in this case also helped me overcome the tendency to judge one piece as better or worse than its neighbors. The result was accepting and even embracing all entries in a way that's unique for a collection like this. For me it also opened up a greater appreciation of the innocence in Ensler's I Am a This is a powerful group of essays, stories, plays, and poems about, among other things, the importance of awareness, especially of the value of marginalized voices. The subject matter of inclusiveness in this case also helped me overcome the tendency to judge one piece as better or worse than its neighbors. The result was accepting and even embracing all entries in a way that's unique for a collection like this. For me it also opened up a greater appreciation of the innocence in Ensler's I Am an Emotional Creature and a deeper grasp of the importance of The Vagina Monologues. Due to my previous reading I was most looking forward to the entries by Sharon Olds, Michael Eric Dyson, Edward Albee, Dave Eggers, Michael Cunningham, Jane Fonda, and Eve Ensler herself. It also boasts contributions by Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams. But I was most impressed and moved by the pieces by Winter Miller, Robin Morgan, Marie Howe, Mark Matousek, Moisés Kaufman, and Kathy Najimy, words and images that I hope will stay with me and grow stronger with future readings. The majority of women and girls will escape the fate of many of the women and girls in this collection. They will never be sold, assaulted, raped, or mutilated. But the heart of darkness that perpetrates this evil, the primeval machine that profits on their frozen and broken souls, the business as usual attitude that banks on their daily and infinite loss is protected by a mind oblivious that enables the global attack on women's rights, bodies, lives, and potential – the repressive social forces that seek to rob us all of our freedom. A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer ends on a spiritual note, the hope for man's transformation from blind violence through compassionate grief to humble equality, the vow to view every woman as an enlightened being. Reading this book was life changing for me and invaluable for my heartfelt support of a local production of The Vagina Monologues as part of the V-Day movement. If this book and its public readings help spread the fire for what is right then it is a success. It has, and it is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I love the IDEA of this book, which is to raise awareness about sexual violence against women. And I love the concept that the book is comprised of real-life narratives that Ensler gathered together after hosting a 2006 New York City festival called "Until the Violence Stops" (hurrah to Ensler!). Certainly, this book feels relevant today given the breadth of the sexual violence problem, as well as excitement surrounding the #metoo movement. I suspect a general audience of young feminists would l I love the IDEA of this book, which is to raise awareness about sexual violence against women. And I love the concept that the book is comprised of real-life narratives that Ensler gathered together after hosting a 2006 New York City festival called "Until the Violence Stops" (hurrah to Ensler!). Certainly, this book feels relevant today given the breadth of the sexual violence problem, as well as excitement surrounding the #metoo movement. I suspect a general audience of young feminists would love it (if this represents you, I recommend the book). That being said, although most of the narratives represented in this book are honest and raw, there's not much aesthetic diversity in the ways they convey their message. My preference is for books that really get into the nitty-gritty of the violence in a more nuanced, and "literary" way (texts like Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye or Alice Walker's The Color Purple), even if I like the social reason for which this book has been compiled.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I picked up this book in the Women's Studies section at the bookstore with no idea what it would be about, but after the first few monologues, I couldn't set down the book. This book talks about all the torture and pain that women in other countries must go through. One woman that I read about was forced to have intercourse with a soldier and then was murdered after he got his pleasure from her. Another women, an African woman, was a Female Genital Mutilation victim and would never be able to ha I picked up this book in the Women's Studies section at the bookstore with no idea what it would be about, but after the first few monologues, I couldn't set down the book. This book talks about all the torture and pain that women in other countries must go through. One woman that I read about was forced to have intercourse with a soldier and then was murdered after he got his pleasure from her. Another women, an African woman, was a Female Genital Mutilation victim and would never be able to have children as an older woman. Reading about all these women's stories often brought tears to my eyes because I couldn't imagine a life of torture like their's. I am very happy that Eve Ensler wrote a book like this so other people, young and old, could become aware of the life that many must endure.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book is not for the faint of heart, or maybe it should be. If you care about women and girls and how the world at large treats them, then you need to read this book. Even though this book was published in 2007, the stories between the covers are so relevant yet today (unfortunately). Violence against women and girls occurs worldwide still which is why this book is so important. Eve Ensler gathers many voices from around the world and compiled them into this book and each story needs to be r This book is not for the faint of heart, or maybe it should be. If you care about women and girls and how the world at large treats them, then you need to read this book. Even though this book was published in 2007, the stories between the covers are so relevant yet today (unfortunately). Violence against women and girls occurs worldwide still which is why this book is so important. Eve Ensler gathers many voices from around the world and compiled them into this book and each story needs to be read and heard. We still have so much work to be done to stop the violence. I'm so thankful that someone, a woman like Eve Ensler exists and brings this message to us.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    An in-your-face collection of writings by talented people regarding the topic of violence against women. Some pieces I felt were a little over the top but that IS Eve Ensler at times so it didn’t distract from the overall message. One essay that really got my attention was “My house is wallpapered with lies” about abuse from the mouths of public school kids and to me it really shows how kids feel about their often-chaotic living situations. Kudos to Eve for doing it again…I would love to see thi An in-your-face collection of writings by talented people regarding the topic of violence against women. Some pieces I felt were a little over the top but that IS Eve Ensler at times so it didn’t distract from the overall message. One essay that really got my attention was “My house is wallpapered with lies” about abuse from the mouths of public school kids and to me it really shows how kids feel about their often-chaotic living situations. Kudos to Eve for doing it again…I would love to see this in a performance, I think reading the essays, poetry etc is one thing but it was meant to be shared.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    Siamo bombardati ogni giorno di notizie relative a donne che vengono violentate, stuprate, usate, uccise e abusate, e ogni volta ci sentiamo, ci chiediamo come sia possibile che avvengono tragedie di tale portata e cosa possiamo fare per evitare tutto ciò. Eve Ensler è passata dalle parole ai fatti, dalla teoria alla pratica e, grazie ad altre penne, come quelle di Michael Cunnigham, Alice Walker, Jane Fonda, Dave Eggers, ha dato vita a questo saggio denunciando la brutalità, la tragedia che le Siamo bombardati ogni giorno di notizie relative a donne che vengono violentate, stuprate, usate, uccise e abusate, e ogni volta ci sentiamo, ci chiediamo come sia possibile che avvengono tragedie di tale portata e cosa possiamo fare per evitare tutto ciò. Eve Ensler è passata dalle parole ai fatti, dalla teoria alla pratica e, grazie ad altre penne, come quelle di Michael Cunnigham, Alice Walker, Jane Fonda, Dave Eggers, ha dato vita a questo saggio denunciando la brutalità, la tragedia che le donne sono costrette a subire in ogni parte del mondo. Il risultato è questo libro - testimonianza, una sorta di grido, di ribellione "Until the violence stops".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Burgess

    This collection is one that needs to be taught in schools. We need to start dialogues about abuse so survivors know they are not alone, so everyone becomes aware of the suffering millions are experiencing, so we can all work to put an end to violence, so our daughters know they don't deserve to be treated as less than and so our sons do not continue the cycle. My favorite pieces in this collection were "the next fantastic leap", "part owner" and the afterword by Jane Fonda.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This was so amazing and heartbreaking at the same time; everyone should be required to read this. The amount of times I almost cried and all these a true stories and oh my god I literally cannot imagine the abuse faced by some of the women in this novel. I recommend this to everyone, please, please read this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Typical Eve Ensler, in a good way. This is a compilation of different writers talking about violence against women. Some of the are personal stories, poetry, rants, performance pieces. It was great to hear from fairly famous people! A good, quick read. Not as much as a tear jerker as some of Ensler's other work, not as funny either.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Cooper

    What an emotional rollercoaster! This was probably the most difficult book I've ever read. It's not that the material was too complicated to understand; it was so overwhelmingly emotional it was hard to imagine what some of these women had been through. These stories are truly inspirational and make me grateful for the life I've had.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lindy Loo

    There were a few pieces in here that just ripped your heart out. And then there were the rest. I appreciate the point of the book and her project. And I appreciate the diversity of works in it. But honestly, oftentimes the pieces seemed very flat and offered nothing more complex to think about than a moral that could be summed as "violence against women: bad."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Addy

    Performs well...a good addition to a V-day lineup. I enjoyed having a variety of writers to hear from. I enjoyed that a man's perspective was included, helps remove the "man-hater" stereotype from V-day. I think that it's worth a read at the very least, but is more powerful performed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Araminta Matthews

    Not Eve Ensler's best writing herself, but the writing displayed by the multitude of writers that contributed to this collection is fine enough. It is much darker than I'd hoped. This book includes writings from Sharon Olds, Michael Cunningham, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

    MMRP was powerful when I saw a V-Day production of it a couple years ago, and the essays held up to that power when I finally read it this year. Some of the essays were very raw and uncomfortable to read - that doesn't mean they shouldn't be read though. The essays need to be shared.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tchiyiwe Chihana

    Not for the faint-hearted/averse to hearing about rape and other forms of sexual violence that affect women. A very intense read that will leave no mystery around real life atrocities faced by women but will jolt any reader in to wanting to do something about it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Uma

    parts were incredibly depressing, but it was also pretty good. I'll admit to skimming some of the stories, or skipping some all together b/c they didn't catch my interest, but more often because they were just too sad.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I read this in a couple hours, gave me chills at times, and also was a reminder to me that the bravery to speak out against violence, the strength of words being shared across boundaries/continents/languages, is, and will continue to be a fierce catalyst for change.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    This book angers you, breaks you, and then empowers you to keep fighting, even after and because of the brutality.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Excellent collection of stories. I have seen the Vagina Monologues, so I really appreciated this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    So much fun to read this one! The SJU women's group is doing a staged reading of this this spring! Happy V-Day!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I loved the afterward by Jane Fonda. It really made this worthwhile. Everything was great and really pulled on my heartstrings but, the last bit really did it for me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meen

    There should be "MUST READ" shelf!

  29. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    Awesome book. Awesome awesome awesome. It was also great to read on the T because it's short essays, rants, stories and poems that I could easily read in between stops.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue Lyle

    Not as accessible as the Vagina Monologues - a harrowing read nevertheless and should be required reading.

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