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Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes

Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes

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Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes

Lesser, Elizabeth

The bestselling author of Broken Open and Marrow delivers a feminist classic in the making that reveals how humanity has outgrown its origin tales, hero myths, and other stories, and empowers women to trust their instincts, find their voice, and tell new guiding stories for all people.

In Cassandra Speaks, Lesser persuasively argues that if women’s voices had been equally heard and respected throughout history, humankind would have followed different hero myths and guiding stories—stories that value caretaking, champion compassion, and elevate communication over vengeance and violence. For too long heroism has been defined through the lens of an outdated, imbalanced, male-dominated value-system.

Brilliantly structured into three distinct parts, the book explores how history is carried forward through the stories a culture tells and values, and what, finally, we can do to balance the scales. In Part One, Lesser gives us a fresh way to consider our deeply embedded Origin stories to see how these stories perpetuate the marginalization of women’s voices. Part Two looks at Women and Power and redefines what it means to be courageous, daring, and strong. And Part Three offers “A Toolbox for Inner Strength.” Lesser argues that change in the culture starts with inner change, and that no one—woman or man—is immune to the corrupting influence of power. She provides inner tools to help us be both strong-willed and kind-hearted, to overcome the “imposter syndrome,” and to navigate what she calls “a collective rite of passage.”

Cassandra Speaks is a beautifully balanced synthesis of storytelling, cultural observation, and personal narrative. With her great gift of both humor and insight, Lesser has given us an important and much-needed antidote to the either/or ideologies on both sides of the gender debate. Women, men and all people will find themselves in the pages of this book, and will come away strengthened, opened, and ready to work together to create a better world for all.

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