Ooh this one is a corker and a total favourite of mine. Dr Clarissa Pinkola-Estés seminal work - Women Who Run With The Wolves. Now this book had been calling to me for a while. I saw it on many a bookstore shelf, and thought ‘crikey, that’s long and has really small font.’ However, I was in Australia a few years ago (when that was possible) and I was having to hang about near a bookstore and there it was again, right in plain view, smack bang in the middle of the shelf.
This book explores traditional fairy tales and folk tales about women as a metaphor for the female psyche from a psychological and spiritual perspective. It brilliantly dissects the details, discusses different versions and how the female characters have changed (often for the poorer) over time with the retelling of the tales and changes in our culture.
Let us keep in mind the best cannot and must not hide.
I commenced this project (it sure felt like it at 537 pages!) on my maternity leave about 4 years ago with my son and have really fond memories of reading a passage or two in the garden whilst he was on a nap. Although it took me pretty much a year to get through it – mainly down to my parental responsibilities – and I wanted to really explore all the fascinating interpretations she has to offer. There is a wonderful story about her watching a mature dancer doing the ‘La Mariposa’ (The Butterfly Woman) a Native American traditional dance which is expressive and of tribute to our transformation into womanhood and the stages of life we experience.
Best of all, I love her mystical, intoxicating writing style. With Mexican and Native American heritage she describes herself as an ‘inspiratrice’ and ‘cantandora.’ This book is not for the feint-hearted or for those really under the age of 14 as it goes through the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of being a woman. But should every woman read it? Absolutely!