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Moonrise: the power of women leading from the heart anthologizes the words and wisdom of famed feminist activists in the United States. From Julia Butterfly’s coda on her fight to save Noth American redwoods to interviews including author Alice Walker about re-envisioning the world, this collection grounds the reader with a sense of progress made.

Each essay returned to one core message: Go within. Heal what needs healing, and emerge stronger as leader, healer and culture maker. As was pointed out in the collective interview of Alice Walker, Jean Shinoda Bolen, and Joanna Macy, women continue to neglect their own care. Allowing self-care frees women to create the world from a centered, healthy perspective. The way art heals both soul and society appears in the essay “How Art Can Heal Broken Places,” by Lily Yeh. Eve Ensler speaks her feelings about the impact of her play “The Vagina Monologues,” has had not just on Western culture but also on men and women worldwide. Nina Simons’ poem “From Mourning into Daybreak,” explains with clarity how the west must learn to grieve and how mourning losses well allows full healing.

This anthology does not preach. It does not advocate a single feminist answer to the problems of the world. Instead, each essay invites the reader into the author’s personal context and from there points to events in her journey that has led her to why her work engages her passion. The diversity of this book stuns, and allows for great synchronicity: if you seek wisdom, pick up this book. You will finish each essay feeling as though you sat down for a private conversation with a powerful feminist leader.

Moonrise gathers some of the world’s best feminist voices, its clearest environmental visionaries and its strongest culture-changing advocates into one collection of pure, hopeful possibility.

Highly recommended.

~review by Diana Rajchel

Editors: Nina Simons with Anneke Campbell
Bear & Company, 2010
pp. 320, $18.95

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