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.”
Author, playwright and performer Ensler hosts a collection of new, personal and often powerful essays by celebrities (Kathy Najimy, Jane Fonda), literati (Dave Eggers, Edwidge Danticat) and feminist luminaries (Carol Gilligan, Alice Walker). Ensler made her taboo-breaking reputation with her stage production The Vagina Monologues; here, she continues in that spirit, calling violence against women "an issue that lives smack in the middle of the world and is still not spoken, not seen, not given weight or significance." Ensler looks to figures such as Maya Angelou, Edward Albee and Anna Deavere Smith to jolt readers out of passivity and into the thick of the issue; in the first three essays, Howard Zinn relates his father's terririble moment of violence against Zinn's mother; Betty Gale Tyson reports on a life of abuse capped by a wrongful murder conviction; and Mollie Doyle contributes a poem about the camp counselor who forced a very adult kiss on her at age six. Some of the essays carry more weight than others, and most run no longer than two pages, but the book's power lies in their combined effect, layering the subtle and frightening ways violence has been and continues to be perpetrated against women. Gleaned from a two week New York festival, "Until the Violence Stops," the proceeds from this call to action will benefit Ensler's awareness-raising V-Day movement.