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The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History Paperback – 12 Feb 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloombury; Reprint edition (12 Feb. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628922125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628922127
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 74.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The Vagina is exactly what it purports to be: a literary and cultural history of impressive breadth and frequently rewarding depth . The Vagina remains an informative and considered book: it is a resource, and a source of power. A polyphonic mixture of high and low, it will engage the feminist philosopher at home with Kristeva, as well as those comparably new to these ideas. The Vagina is not, to borrow a term from Laurie Penny, the feminism-as-spectacle that Wolf and many others who court the mainstream gaze are so keen to offer us; rather it is feminist writing of the best kind, that which comes from genuine engagement and real political concern. Jane Cleasby, Review31"

About the Author

Emma L.E. Rees is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Chester, UK.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is thoughtful and insightful, asking whether women can reclaim the anatomically accurate 'c-word' in place of the arguably sexist term vagina without connotations of vulgarity and disgust.

To explore this idea, Rees considers various cultural and artistic representations of the vagina, from literature to performance art, Frida Kahlo to South Park. Witty and intelligent, the author never seeks to patronise or preach but puts across her passion for the subject eloquently.

An accessible book, this is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in the subject.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in hardback and forgot to leave a review. I saw that it was now out in paperback and thought I should remedy my omission, as I got a great deal out of this work. It is witty and insightful and a book to which - unusually for me - I have returned several times after first reading. This is not a dry academic text but is a beautifully researched wonderful read. Not just for females or those that identify as such. Fab. I would review it further but cannot to justice to it in the way this review does, which I endorse! http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-review-the-vagina-a-literary-and-cultural-history-by-emma-rees-8783684.html
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift, and was surprised at the quality and condition. The book was also much longer and more detailed than I expected which is great.
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Format: Hardcover
Appears to be a college paper. A 40 page introduction. Discusses thoughts about the female body. Mentions performance art. Some occasional B/W pics along with some color photos in the middle. Each chapter has end notes. Provides some insight. To be fullfilled.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than you would expect 10 Oct. 2013
By stephen howe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw this book reviewed in our local Sydney newspaper and it received excellent reviews.As a doctor(and a man) I was interested by this book on professional and personal levels.It gave an excellent insight into the myths and taboos surrounding the female organ.We should all respect it,after all over fifty percent of the population have one, and most of us came out of one!
Sadly,medical school (in the 1980s) did not teach female medicine well.The anatomy and physiology of the female genitalia perhaps,but this excellent book looks at the social and cultural aspects as well.I think this should be a required text for any doctor dealing with females.Well done Ms.Rees!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Read 21 May 2014
By Hayden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rees moves effortlessly here through a variety of historical periods and a wide genre of “art” to demonstrate her points about the female anatomy. From artists such as the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (and her Judith paintings) to Georgia O’Keefe (Black Iris) and from writers such as Chaucer (Canterbury Tales) and Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel) to Denis Diderot (Les Bijoux Indiscrets), William Burroughs (The Naked Lunch), and Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted); and from photographers such as Renée Cox and Zoe Leonard, Rees draws conversantly on both the familiar and the arcane. At the same time, Rees calls on the work of early psychologists, philosophers, theorists and critics, such as Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray, and Julia Kristeva.

In a highly fascinating study, the author explicates with skill historical, literary, and artistic concepts, such as the vagina dentata myths (from Aztec tales to Native American Hopi Indians, for example) and contemporary medical and emotional concerns related to FGM. Anyone interested in Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Women’s History, Pop Culture, and Social and/or Literary History should absolutely read Rees’s book. It ought to be on every woman’s reading list. Although this topic may seem intimidating to some, Rees tackles it with amazing clarity and careful study--the seriousness of the study frequently giving way to wonderfully rollicking humor. An absolutely terrific read!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 28 Dec. 2015
By Karen Menke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fine
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star 8 Feb. 2017
By Lara Stephenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A displeasing approach which I wouldn't call feminist, from the very start.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History of 15 April 2014
By ellison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Written by a British author it appears to be a college paper as it features a 40 page introduction and each chapter has pages of notes. Contains black and white photos and 8 pages of color photos. Mentions movies, plays, and televison programs where the topic is discussed. Mentions the impact of words and the mysteries enclosed.
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