Taking readers on an expansive journey across continents, cultures, centuries and even species, Gross reveals a stunning disparity in Western medicine and academia ... Gross takes on a herculean task, exploring female anatomy from a medical, social and historical perspective, in eight chapters ranging in topic from the glans clitoris to the egg cell to the vaginal microbiome. Some passages skew medically dense and might be wince-inducing for the squeamish. But Gross manages to make palatable the sawing of cadavers and the injecting of silicone into two-pronged snake vaginas, without undercutting the gravity of their resulting revelations.
Enthralling and scrupulously researched ... Gross’s book makes a valiant attempt to bring clarity to the vagina, and it succeeds through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach. Examining the vagina through historical, scientific, and political lenses, Gross crafts a piquant narrative that is exemplary of quality science journalism and is nearly impossible to set down. It’s fit for researchers, with thorough endnotes and stunning anecdotes from real vagina owners and scientists, but it remains readable and accessible for a multitude of lay audiences. Casual readers and academics alike will revel in Gross’s masterful quips that accentuate the frustrating absurdity of the vagina’s lore. A must-read ... Insightful and dynamic.
Engaging and enormously fascinating ... In addition to offering valuable historical context about the medical field’s reluctance to properly study cervices, ovaries, uteruses, et al., Vagina Obscura also serves up optimistic evidence for a more equitable future. Gross writes with enthusiasm about pioneering doctors and researchers and shares stories of the people who’ve benefited from their work ... A book that is impressive in its scope and thrilling in the hope it offers to those whose bodies have previously been overlooked.