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Woman: An Intimate Geographyby Natalie Angier
Synopses & Reviews
Natalie Angier's Woman enchanted readers and critics everywhere and marked an important shift in feminist consciousness. This self-proclaimed "scientific fantasia of womanhood" moves beyond the polemics of the '80's and '90's toward an enlightened subversiveness that "gives feminism a cheerful, evolutionary twist" (Katha Pollitt, The Nation).
Woman is a mesmerizing anatomy and physiology lesson that culminates in a fascinating revelation about the ways in which cultural biases have influenced research in evolutionary psychology (the study of the biological bases of behavior). In lively, elegant prose, Angier shows just how natural selection has been misused as a model for confirming gender stereotypes, such as the idea that women are innately monogamous while men are natural philanderers. In so doing, she has galvanized both scientific thought and feminist rhetoric, and deftly combined the two to ignite a new wave of feminism that scientists, feminists, and the media have aptly dubbed "liberation biology."
But Natalie Angier doesn't just point fingers, she offers optimistic alternatives, and Woman is a seminal work with universal appeal that "proposes revolutionary possibilities for both men and women" (Gloria Steinem). This is a book that will be read and discussed for many years to come, and that will endure as an essential read for anyone interested in how biology affects who we are — as women, as men, and as human beings.
"It's a book not just for women. With its massive data on the working biology of both sexes, skepticism of dominant theories about dominant males, and candor about the speculative quality of its own feminist hypotheses, it stands as a benchmark in male-female relations in the late 20th century." USA Today
"A treasure chest of did-you-knows...hits the bull's-eye every time." Newsweek
"A tantalizing, witty journey through female biology, debunking many entrenched stereotypes and myths and a lot of questionable science." Salon
"Natalie Angier has that rare dual talent: a true passion for science combined with a poet's linguistic flair. In this lively dissection of womanhood, she places everything from estrogen to the politics of motherhood beneath her flawlessly focused microscope, offering innumerable tidbits both surprising and fascinating." People, Book of the Week
"Intimate and idiosyncratic...dismantles the misogynist mythologies once advanced as the scientific gospel of the female body...Angier's brilliant and witty fantasia will inspire women to believe in their powers." The Boston Globe
"Natalie Angier's dazzling new book calls upon biology and evolution to celebrate the female body. Its upbeat message. . . is supported by rigorous scientific underpinnings." The New York Times
"A tour de force, a wonderful, entertaining and informative book." The New York Times Book Review
"Angier's Woman is as good as it gets." Los Angeles Times
"If Our Bodies, Ourselves has become the bible of women's bodies, let Woman: An Intimate Geography be our Shakespeare." Peggy Orenstein, Elle
"The chief manifesto of the new 'femaleist' thinking." Time
With the clarity, insight, and sheer exuberance of language that make her one of The New York Times's premier stylists, Pulitzer Prize-winner Natalie Angier lifts the veil of secrecy from that most enigmatic of evolutionary masterpieces, the female body. Angier takes readers on a mesmerizing tour of female anatomy and physiology that explores everything from organs to orgasm, and delves into topics such as exercise, menopause, and the mysterious properties of breast milk.
A self-proclaimed "scientific fantasia of womanhood." Woman ultimately challenges widely accepted Darwinian-based gender stereotypes. Angier shows how cultural biases have influenced research in evolutionary psychology (the study of the biological bases of behavior) and consequently lead to dubious conclusions about "female nature." such as the idea that women are innately monogamous while men are natural philanderers.
But Angier doesn't just point fingers; she offers optimistic alternatives and transcends feminist polemics with an enlightened subversiveness that makes for a joyful, fresh vision of womanhood. Woman is a seminal work that will endure as an essential read for anyone intersted in how biology affects who we are?as women, as men, and as human beings.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -419) and index.
About the Author
Natalie Angier writes about biology for the New York Times, where she has won a Pulitzer Prize and other awards. Her previous books, which have received wide acclaim, are The Beauty of the Beastly and Natural Obsessions. She lives with her family in Takoma Park, Maryland.
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