What People Are Saying
“V, my brave, courageous, brilliant spiritual warrior, I have been overcome with love and grief and compassion and reverence as I am reading the words you’ve let loose on these pages. Oh my God/Goddess in heaven I am half way through and my stomach is in knots.
My head is full. My eyes won’t stop crying. My bones are aching. I am home. I stayed home to finish this work of grace and opening toward profound transformation…Thank you for challenging us to look our pain dead in the eyes and demand from him/her/them what we know we are owed: truth, acknowledgment, a reckoning, justice, and finally to heal and have peace. If as children we couldn’t live in another type of world, one where we were safe, then V as tired as we get, we have no choice but to build that world now. Even if it’s the last thing we do.”
Black Women’s Blueprint
"…one of the most shatteringly brilliant books I have read. As soon as I finished it, I read it again, and again, and again (really)."
The Sunday Times of London
“As only she can, V shares the story of her father’s ultimate betrayal with both unflinching candor and immeasurable grace. Through sheer creative force, she takes us on her own journey to healing. Though V’s story is deeply personal, its lessons are universal.”
Author of REIMAGINING INEQUALITY and SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
"Accusation and punishment of the guilty is one critical step in reckoning with abuse. V Ensler offers another crucial step forward: the deep self-reckoning and accounting that a true apology requires. This is an urgently needed book right now."
Actor and Activist
“The Apology is profound and theatrical, literary and sometimes funny, as all of V’s work is, and it goes without saying, it’s courageous, transformative, and yes—healing.”
Bestselling author of Almost Everything and Imperfect Birds
"Courageous, transformative, and yes—healing.”
“V’s writing is always magnetic. She is Earth Mother, speaking truth, healing truth, and you are pulled in by your heart strings. Deeper and deeper into her well of wisdom, her compassion and humor and straight-forward brilliance. You find your center in her writing, you come to terms with your stuff, your truth. You own your emotional creature, you love your vagina (and you know that it is more than a sheath for a sword, it is so powerful and sweet).
This new book, The Apology, is V at her best. I was breathless, literally holding my breath, hearing my heart beat in my ears. I was outraged at the man who hurt her, angry, weeping, seeing each scene and wanting to reach into the page and rescue Evie. I was awed, floored, mystified by the compassionate way V draws out her father’s story–she is insightful, wise; she knows him as more than a monster, but does not shy away from the monstrous. My heart was ripped apart, cracked wide open, at the vulnerable, truth-telling, the heart-searing, soul-bearing story she tells. In the end, this conversation with a dead father gives V what she needs–an apology–and gives us all a path to redemption, to healing.The Apology is truth, method, spiritual practice, a way to be a person, a map to healing our souls, and the world. You must read this book; it will change you.”
Reverend Jacqui Lewis, Ph.D.
Senior Minister - Middle Collegiate Church
“In this triumph of artistry and empathy, V leaves us with a transformative question: what if the words we most long to hear from another can be located within ourselves? Navigating the rocky rapids between intimacy and annihilation, contrition and forgiveness, autonomy and interdependence, this is a book like no other. Few will emerge unchanged.”
“The Apology is a brave step toward radical healing–not just for V, but for all those who accept her invitation to confront the trauma of sexual abuse and find the apology they might never hear. But Ensler’s book can also be seen as an invitation to men and a roadmap for the apologies that need to be made.”
CEO, A Call to Men
“This is one of the most original and profound books of the decade. For anyone who has ever been hurt by somebody they love, it will be deeply transformative. Twenty-five years ago, V transformed how women think about their bodies. With this book, she will change how all of us think about our souls.”
Author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections
“V’s The Apology is both an excoriation and an act of startling forgiveness. Even as it depicts jaw-dropping cruelties, it probes the complexities and layers that underlie what could, in lesser hands, appear as the opaque surface of pure evil. V unflinchingly increases our understanding of the human experience even at its darkest, which is quite possibly a writer’s, any writer’s, most significant contribution.”
V's book is for people like me who find apologies to be perfunctory and unsatisfying, even infuriating without a clear-eyed reckoning of why the hurt was done. Here is a guide for those who have not received the apology they deserve, and for those who know there is one they've yet to give.
author of "On Intersectionality" and V-Day Board Member
I grew up hearing about the power of God in our life “to make a way out of no way.” Well V, my Sista, you have helped to create for some and find for others, the on ramp back to our humanity. The Apology Strips away the armour, injury, scars to find the tender beating of our human spirit, heart pulsing to feel the life force of compassion and love even when or especially when we feel we don’t deserve it or it is impossible for it to be there for us.
Oh, V to take on this pain full and spirit relieving territory of your heart and spirit and to share it with us…..WoW!
Co-founder & Executive Director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center
Many survivors of sexual violence have waited years for an apology, only to be let down by empty words and deafening silence. The Apology is a brilliant piece that not only invites survivors to imagine or even write their own, longed for, apologies; but it provides an example to perpetrators of violence who have thought about what it might look like to apologize for the harm they have caused. Miigwetch (thank you) V for so freely sharing your gifts with survivors everywhere!
Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
"Ensler's transfixing, appalling, revelatory, and cathartic performance deepens her mission of transmuting her pain into clarion stories that engender understanding, openness, healing, and liberation . . . Daring and resounding."
“This imagined voice of an abusive father from the limbo of the afterlife is as intimate as it is alarming, and in crafting a letter one survivor may yearn for, Ensler taps into a broader struggle, searching to hold perpetrators accountable . . . Those seeking a greater understanding of psychological manipulation will appreciate this potent examination.”
“This bold, brutal, and ultimately healing narrative by playwright Ensler exposes the origin story of her ground-breaking play The Vagina Monologues through searing reflections on incest and abuse . . . A powerful and disturbing story that Ensler writes with grace and aplomb.”
"The scourge of sexual abuse is very much at the forefront of the cultural conversation right now. The Apology promises to be a potent and extraordinarily compassionate addition to it."