The Madwoman is a powerful psychological and emotional energy that lives in us all—both men and women—and speaks to us all, inhabiting our dreams, our lives, our collective cultural memory. Ignored or suppressed, she becomes a force of self-destruction; acknowledged and understood, she becomes a source of creativity and power. In this remarkable and revolutionary book, Linda Schierse Leonard explores how we can overcome the inner turmoil of contemporary life—unexpressed rage, the buildup of guilt and anxiety—by harnessing this primal expression of our natural instincts.
From Medea to Ophelia to Thelma and Louise, the paradox and patterns of “madness” are as old as time. But the chain can be broken; the Madwoman within each of us can and must be freed, openly expressed, and transformed into a source of constructive, creative energy. Leonard draws upon an extraordinary range of sources—ancient myths and fairy tales, films and literature, contemporary and historical women’s lives—to design a model of empowerment for women today.
With its fresh perspectives and bold insights, Meeting the Madwoman is a provocative work of profound cultural significance, one whose ideas are sure to resonate for years to come.
Praise for Meeting the Madwoman
“A book loaded with practical insights that’s also fun to read . . . With refreshing originality, Leonard reverses some traditional perceptions.”—New Woman
“A vigorous exploration . . . Throughout, Leonard writes passionately, seeing the Madwoman as an empowering symbol and the discovery process as a spiritual exercise—a kind of purification and ultimate triumph of the feminine spirit.”—Kirkus Reviews
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Published by Bantam Mar 01, 1994| 340 Pages| 6 x 9| ISBN 9780553373189