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A Woman of Parts

by Florence King

Vagina: A New Biography, by Naomi Wolf (HarperCollins, 384 pp., $27.99)

When the going gets tough, the idea of going back to the womb has irresistible connotations of perfect peace and contentment, an asylum in the original sense of the word where we are cushioned in silence and rocked in an effortless motion by the golden waters of a gently lapping magic pool.

Naomi Wolf’s new book makes going back to the womb sound more like going through a car wash. We are knocked down by streams of gushing hormones, we slip and slide on slick layers of lubrication, we are thrown to the floor by violent throbbing, we collide with G-spots, we are challenged by a clitoris demanding “Who goes there?” and yanked in by a cervix with a strength more often found in bar bouncers.

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