When Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth was published in 1991, Gloria Steinem hailed it as “a smart, angry, insightful book, and a clarion call to freedom,” recommending “Every woman should read it.” The New York Times called it one of the most important books of the 20th century. Over the intervening two decades, Wolf continued to write about the role of women in our culture, but she also took on broader political issues in books such as The End of America and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.
In her newest book, VAGINA: A NEW BIOGRAPHY, she returns to the feminine and the personal. Drawing on cutting-edge neurobiological research, she makes the bold claim that there is a direct link between a woman’s experience of her vagina and her experience of her very sense of self. Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year, the book is also receiving more than its share of critical reviews. I’ll talk with Wolf — No stranger to controversy — about the good, the bad, and the surprising – in her research, her synthesis, and in responses to her new work.