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Publisher's Summary

An astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina - and consequently, how we understand women - from one of our most respected cultural critics and thinkers, Naomi Wolf, author of the modern classic The Beauty Myth.

When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain - and thus has a fundamental connection to female consciousness itself.

Utterly enthralling and totally fascinating, Vagina: A New Biography draws on this set of insights about "the mind-vagina connection" to reveal new information about what women really need, and considers what a sexual relationship - and a relationship to the self - transformed by these insights could look like.

Exhilarating and groundbreaking, Vagina: A New Biography combines rigorous science, explained for lay listeners, with cultural history and deeply personal considerations of the role of female desire in female identity, creativity, and confidence, from interviewees of all walks of life. Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year, it is a provocative and deeply engaging book that elucidates the ties between a woman's experience of her vagina and her sense of self; her impulses, dreams, and courage; and her role in love and in society in completely new and revelatory ways sure to provoke impassioned conversation.

A brilliant and nuanced synthesis of physiology, history, and cultural criticism, Vagina: A New Biography explores the physical, political, and spiritual implications of this startling series of new scientific breakthroughs for women and for society as a whole, from a writer whose conviction and keen intelligence have propelled her works to the tops of bestseller lists, and firmly into the realms of modern classics.

©2012 Naomi Wolf (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Vagina

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  • Buretto
  • 21-06-2018

A respected, fulfilled woman is a bounty for all

I really enjoyed this book. I especially respected the fact that the author came right out and stated what the book would be, and what it wouldn't be. Clearly stating her intent gives the reader/listener a comfort level to recognize that there are a myriad of tangents to be discussed, from feminist and conservative viewpoints, but necessarily in other books. This is about the core of the psyche of, primarily, heterosexual woman and the physiological roots of a woman's fulfilment. It's not about men's sexuality (save for how men can best support the women they love in their quest for happiness), nor is it about homosexual or bisexual women (mostly), as those topics go far afield enough to deserve other, unique treatments. Well conceived and well executed.

As mentioned earlier, I found the physiological and anatomical information quite revealing, and gave me new insight to the women I have known and loved. I consider myself a fairly progressive male, particularly in gender issues, but I certainly have more to learn! Where the book goes slightly sideways for me is in the mystical and spiritual realms. Recognition of some basic truths of the sacred feminine does not entirely impart credibility on spiritual philosophies, eastern or otherwise. In addition, Ms. Wolf seems to have a few cultural blind spots, with regard to music and geography, but hardly enough to detract from the enjoyment of the book.

The narrator did a fine job, and gave reasonably good emotion when needed. A few unfortunate mispronunciations, but altogether an admirable job.

6 people found this helpful

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  • alyssa
  • 20-01-2018

Life Changing

Wow. I can’t believe it took me so long to come across this book. The information compiled here has changed my perception of womanhood and validated aspects of my sexual and sensual self that I had previously misunderstood. I bookmarked so many parts that I decided I need to get a hard copy as well to re read it. I believe every woman, and man who loves a woman needs to read this book to fill in the deep cultural gaps in knowledge and understanding we posses regarding the female body and experience. Do yourself a huge favor and read this book. You will be blown away.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Syd Young
  • 09-03-2014

Think you already know it all? Think again!

I read this after having the fortune of acting in the local production of Vagina Monologues. It is a completely different work and very informative, fast read. If you think you already know it all, think again. Read and learn my friends. Thank you Wolf!

4 people found this helpful

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  • C Brasington III
  • 08-08-2018

Facts vs Interpretation

The upside:
Most anyone will be able to learn something new from the research study results and facts that are presented. The scholarly collection of data is impressive; some is quite ground breaking and much points to the incredible “design” of males and females. Reading this book could dramatically improve one’s understanding of the opposite sex (although the focus is, by intention, on the female), and increase the enjoyment of a sexual relationship. I found the data in the book to be quite valuable, however, the conclusions drawn from the data left much to be desired.
The downside:
Facts are interpreted through the filters of feminism, Eastern mysticism and evolution. Given the incredible facts presented, and the amazing discoveries of how males and females relate biologically, emotionally, chemically and sexually, indeed, even pointing out that they ultimately need each other for optimum health and mutual benefit, the author attributes these facts to “evolutionary processes”. Then statements are made that grossly misrepresent the teachings of the Bible, and Christianity as if these misrepresentations somehow “prove” evolution or feminism to be superior. In fact, they demonstrate a lack of understanding and investigation into these matters. A basic understanding of the historical and cultural settings, etymology, and attention to the entire document (not just a snippet here or there) would have presented an entirely different picture of the Bible message concerning women than that which was presented by the author. The Bible clearly teaches the differences yet equality of the sexes, the preciousness and value of a woman, and the command to husbands to: "love your wife even to the point of giving up your life for her". This is a far cry from what was stated by the author.
Careful research and investigation in these areas would have proven the Bible to be supportive of many of the facts presented, however, the author interprets them as antithetical to her point. She has forced the facts through feminist and evolutionary “filters” and thereby has, in my view, drawn inadequate and sometimes erroneous conclusions.

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  • Merren Troll
  • 06-09-2017

This is an amazingly told history and biology of women, empowering us to understand our deepest selves and change the world.

This is an amazingly told history and biology of women, empowering us to understand our deepest selves and change the world. Every woman deserves know how the vagina is connected to her brain,her creativity, her and empowerment. Every man who cares about any woman should read this book and take in the ways he can support the power women have to improve her own and his life. It's not a relationship manual, but the knowledge is something I wish we would have known in past relationships. Well written and scientifically based- I will listen again and again until I have it in my being.

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  • Ariel
  • 19-06-2017

An MUST read to eliminate a tragic blind spot

I discovered how thoroughly we have disregarded a critically important dimension of our lives... of our humanity: our sexuality.

3 people found this helpful

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  • punkrockmomma
  • 11-12-2015

Everyone needs to read this book!!

This is one of the best books I've read on this topic! I highly recommend it for both men and women. A friend of mine and I are think about having on-going book clubs around this book; we think the material/information in it is that important.

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  • Katherine Price
  • 26-10-2015

If you have a vagina or love someone with a vagina than this knowledge is for you.

This book is smart, sweet, sassy and the content is live changing. Knowing more about my neural pathways, my SNS, ANS, I could go on and on but frankly it comes down to having a better understanding of myself. It has enlightened me and sent me into a deep appreciation for myself that has been chipped away at in a relentless manor during my short 25 years. I am thankful for these words, this author and all of the research that she had to pull from! Bravo!

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  • Daniel J. Luby
  • 26-10-2017

Great Vagina (Book)

I really liked the narrative use of intertwining history and medical science to tell the story.
Goes off the rails a bit when attempting spiritual contemplation and meaning about the titular organ.

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  • Alisa
  • 11-12-2012

Fantastic read!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A nice mix of the authors personal experience, with science and advice, should be required reading for all females and males!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 24-12-2012

Vagina

This book is a must read for males and females. It is the key to the mysteries of life and in my opinion happiness. We surely need to open our minds to evidence already gathered from both scientists and people that have real life experience.

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  • Stephanie Willing
  • 22-11-2017

The brilliant narration does not save this book

The narrator does an excellent job with this book, but the material is weak, boring pseudoscience, and no narration can redeem that.

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  • susie-pu
  • 10-11-2014

EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS!

Would you listen to Vagina again? Why?

yes. it was full of so much information i want to make sure i didn't miss anything first time round.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

chapter 12 about porn. Such important information for all people who are interested in the happiness of their own sex lives.

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  • RGS
  • 20-06-2021

bits were interesting

you really sought medical help because you thought your orgasm was a bit rubbish?

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  • Patchi C.
  • 15-06-2021

Must read/listen

We need more books like this. It confirms what women know instinctively through science and brings further enlightenment even the most savvy of us. Especially educational for those who claim ‘women are complicated’.

I found it a bit too anecdotal and the science is not necessarily the strongest, but that’s understandable given how few studies are carried out by women, with women’s pleasure in mind.

Narration is quite gimmicky at times.

Nonetheless, this is a must read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-03-2021

Absolutely love this book!

An amazing book, I think that everyone should read it! Excellently written, the narrator is great to listen to as well.

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  • Zahra Hagouchi
  • 21-03-2021

This book took me on an awakening journey

I absolutely loved this book and will read it again. I think every woman and girl should read this book, and then educate the men in their environment about it's content. That would mean a beautiful world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-2021

life changing

the contant of the book has the potensial to change womens life and their relationship with partners and them selves.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-11-2020

Yes Yes Yes Yes YESSSSSSSSS!!!

Everything about this book is EVERYTHING. Men need to read this. Women need to read this. We ALL need to deal this, because we're all going to die otherwise. Or we all first to reside in heavenly bliss. Your choice. But read the book.

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  • Katrina Paslavska
  • 13-01-2019

exceptionally interesting

I wish I had the hard copy of this book.. to circle and reread the best moments.. I've learned so much from this book.. It's not something like romance you would read in one day or a few hours.. I needed to listen to this book, to understand it.. and put it away, digest what I have learned and continue to listen again.. I will definitely buy the hard copy of this book and it will be treasured in my household. I will let my future children read it and understand it too! This should be a must read book in sex education classes.

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