"This book offers a life-enhancing way to make contact with our deep feminine instincts: the wild woman within" (Irish Times)
"All women should read this. In fact, mothers should pass the knowledge contained in these pages down to their daughters as they turn 16. It's insightful and inspirational and gets you back in touch with your authentic self" (T4 presenter Jude Sarpong)
"A wonderful book...for anybody who cares about their relationships and their lives" (Anne Devlin, playwright)
This bestseller now availabe from Rider B format paperback, to coincide with the celebration of Rider`s 90th birthday.
I'm very on the fence with this book, thus the three stars. A solid middle ground. This book is being heralded as a feminist classic... but to be honest, I don't really see it. Estés talks a lot about the masculine/feminine nature, spirituality, and psychology, but nothing really about about feminism. Perhaps its the idea of it 'unlocking' the desires and feelings women it claims to do, through analysing fairy tales, folk tales and mythology through a Jungian lens. However, I didn't really conncect to anything, except the chapter about body image. And there was barely even any analysis in that chapter, just a recollection of thoughts and feelings on Estés end, that I agreed with. The thing was, Estés is talking like all women have a collective experience, like, we all want to give birth, for instance. Also, in the beginning, Estés says something like 'this book is for all people, no matter their class, education, gender, sexuality', but I found some problems with that. The book is very academically inclined and unnecessarily dense and filled with jargon that I would have a hard time imagining a non-reader or a 'casual reader' even finishing this book. A lot of the analysis of the stories are somewhat heteronormative and you can tell is only directed towards cisgender women. It was published in the 90's, so maybe I can forgive the oversight, since mainstream conversations about trans rights were barely starting, and I can't imagine a cis woman who shys away from calling herself a feminist (which I don't have a problem with, but this book is supposedly feminist, so it seems a little strange to me) even thinking about the topic. So. I really just ended up skimming the last half. At least one section was worthwhile.
One of the most profound reads of my lifetime. I have read and reread this book over the past twenty years and bought multiple copies for friends and strangers. It speaks to women the world over and has been translated into dozens of languages. Most will not read this cover to cover in one sitting. Think of the richness of chocolate cake this is a book you will dive into digesting in small portions over time, years even. You might also have days where you read chapter after chapter as you see yourself in those words. Either way, you can pick something from the contents or index and read a stand alone page and still find treasure in a paragraph or two. I recommend you keep a journal handy reading this will have you thinking and feeling on so many levels! Enjoy and read the longest poem in her-story - do that and you'll gain a deeper understanding of the way this is written!
This book has been a great find for me. It deals with many issues which have affected me throughout my life particularly my early development and the trauma I suffered within my family culture of rape and torture. Reading Estes has been a gift to me, providing many intellectual explanations , often using story telling as examples, which is now helping me to understand the dark underside of human nature, its anthropological, cultural and historical evolution, and ways for me to personally resist further mental and emotional anguish and suffering, and renew my life with vigour, passion, creativity, and self belief. The truth must be spoken, silence destroys the soul. I recommend this book to women and men who suffer from trauma and abuse, as a way to empower them to grow strong and independent of dominant people and bullies.
5.0 out of 5 starsMy Go To Book for healing the injured female within
25 August 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
this book is my go to staple to feed my female soul. if anyone can get it right and deep it is Clarissa. to me, she is like the female version of Joseph Campbell. she totally unfolds the female archetypal characters and souls. if you want a book with meat and bones that talks about the issues of the female character and her relationships with other women ... within her family ... who betray her or abuse her, abandon her or neglect her ... and you have had that happen to you and you need a healing through profound understanding ... then get this book, read it and reread it and digest every bit of hit because there is nothing but soul food in here! thank heaven, God and angels for Clarissa. she is a national jewel and anything she creates speaks to me and i think it will speak to you as well.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf You're a Woman You'll Love This Book
17 May 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
This is the book I return to for wisdom and guidance, that I quote to explain life lessons to friends and grandchildren, that I understand better and differently whatever age I am when I reread it, starting at 38 up til now when I am 67. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian analyst and storyteller with a tradition of women storytellers on both sides of her family, tells the original versions of fairy tales and folk tales from around the world and then meticulously, exquisitely exposes the deep hidden archetypal meaning hiding within. From love to anger to finding and learning to trust our wild wisdom, she covers every aspect of women's lives. I buy spare copies whenever I find them to have on hand to give out whenever I find a receptive soul.
I am still enjoying this book. The stories in it really resonates with me. I had stopped reading it for a couple of months after finishing a story when I had a break down about my life. I had started reading the book again to take my mind off of things and the next story, "The Red Shoes" touched a lot on what I am experiencing. Feeling a need to escape and get to a life that is happier/soulful. The Ugly Duckling is also one of my favorite stories in this book. The way the author takes the symbols and decode the meaning and themes of these stories is amazing. As kids hearing these fairy tales we'd never know that there was a deeper meaning to them. As adults they mean so much more.
Years ago, I would not have given the book, or its title a second thought. But with lived experience, comes a different perspective. The clarity that it has given me is mind blowing. Dr. Estes is totally on point in her narrative and understanding of the woman archetype within...in all aspects and phases of our lives. She brings a wholeness and a healing to those of us who suffered under the yoke of 'expectations' and allows us to live free. Thus, we owe it to our daughters, granddaughters, and daughters-in-law to allow them to 'run with the wolves' and not encumber them with the 'roles' in which many of us were expected to fulfill. This is a must read for ALL women and for the men who love them. This isn't a 'fluff' read at all...it is deep and messy at times, but the narrative she paints with her words and stories connect with every woman who has yearned to be free and run with the wolves!!
This book is for all women, who struggled through life because of the pressures and pre-tailored expectations of their families, socieities, religious leaders, husbands, children, etc, and finally saw the light of the moon and could not fight the urge to howl (owwwwwwwwwwwwww).
The basic concept is that everything that goes wrong in women's lives in the modern world is that they have forgotten their wild nature, that place inside their mind which still leads with an animal instict that makes women strong and with much power. The Wild Woman is between bars inside each one of us, howling and scratching her way out, demanding that she has time to create art, to heal, to protect her territory, to guide, to give life, to mourne, to make love, to laugh scandelously with no shame, to live with no boundries, to teach, to carry wisdom, and to trust her intuition and instincts.
Ladies, go find your inner animal and live free... following but the laws of the wild...