cover image Reckoning


V (formerly Eve Ensler). Bloomsbury, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-1-635-57904-8

This bracing career-spanning collection from playwright V (The Apology) gives readers unprecedent access to her life, work, and the underpinnings of her worldview. V details how writing The Apology, an imagined narrative of her father atoning for his sexual and physical abuse of her, ultimately set her free: “He owned his terrible deeds, he felt my pain, he evidenced awareness and remorse.” V’s strongest work from the Guardian is reprinted here: “Disaster Patriarchy” argued that Covid-19 “unleashed the most severe setback to women’s liberation” by allowing men to “exploit a crisis to reassert control and dominance”; and in a contribution to the paper’s Living in a Woman’s Body series, she wrote about how her own body “was a conquered land... pillaged and vanquished from the very start.” Other pieces—which discuss such topics as Donald Trump, femicide in the Congo, and rape as a weapon of war—shed light on global horrors. In the final chapter, she explains why she changed her name: “V is the name of my real people and reminder of my true origins.” V’s explosive truth-telling is as provocative as it is intense. The result is a raw and relevant oeuvre. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Jan.)