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Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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  • Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345409876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712657471
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.5 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Folklore, fairy tales and dream symbols are called on to help restore women's neglected intuitive and instinctive abilities in this earthy first book by a Jungian analyst. According to Estes, wolves and women share a psychic bond in their fierceness, grace and devotion to mate and community. This comparison defines the archetype of the Wild Woman, a female in touch with her primitive side and able to rely on gut feelings to make choices. The tales here, from various cultures, are not necessarily about wolves; instead, they illuminate fresh perspectives on relationships, self-image, even addiction. An African tale of twins who baffle a man represents the dual nature of woman; from the Middle East, a story about a threadbare but secretly magic carpet shows society's failure to look beyond appearances. Three brief, ribald stories advocate a playful, open sexuality; other examples suggest ways to deal with anger and jealousy. At times, Estes's commentary--in which she urges readers to draw upon and enjoy their Wild Woman aspects--is hyperbolic, but overall her widely researched study offers usable advice for modern women.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A feminist counterpart to Iron John--or, how ``a healthy woman is much like a wolf.'' Est‚s, a Jungian analyst, believes that a woman's wholeness depends on her returning to the sources of her repressed instinctual nature. To illustrate the ways of the ``wild woman,'' the author draws on myths, legends, and fairy tales from a vast and eclectic range of traditions. This collection of stories may well be the most valuable element of the book, which otherwise reads like unedited transcripts of the workshops Est‚s leads to encourage women to return to their ``feral'' roots. Each story demonstrates a particular aspect of woman's experience--relationship, creativity, anger, spirituality, etc. Est‚s finds evidence in the most diverse tales of the necessity for women to reclaim their wildness. The precise nature of this wildness is difficult to fathom, but, at best, it seems to include a genuine capacity to access feelings and to accept one's contradictions, while, at worst, it appears to amount to the kind of self-indulgence that prevailed during the ``me'' generation. Est‚s claims that her book is for every woman, ``whether you be spicy or somber, regal or roughshod''; but her underlying assumption that every woman is free to abandon what holds her back seems ignorant of social and economic realities. The author provides few concrete examples that might help women understand what she expects them to do, and her prose abounds in generalizations and oddities (``the ambitious woman...who is heartfelt toward her accomplishments'') that further undermine her credibility and her considerable scholarship. Hortatory, ecstatic, and, ultimately, irritating. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As a man who, for a long time, has been studying comparative mythology and Jungian psychology, and running a podcast dedicated to men's spirituality, I can appreciate Estés' desire to create a book that touches on the archetype of the Wild Woman, as Robert Bly did the Wild Man, with "Iron John," but it's clear from the beginning that the author is a feminist ideologue, snidely disparaging men at every turn.

Now, it could be argued that, "this book wasn't meant for me," given my birth and rearing as a biological male in a modern Western country--perhaps it's true, but I've always been the sort to read the books I'm "not supposed to" read. I consider the notion of taboo books a gateway to book-burning and totalitarianism.

Overall, this book was all-right, but while the stories are interesting, and Estés' interpretation of themes in each of them was worth hearing, her pretentious overuse of Spanish terminology was stylistically awkward and simply unnecessary. I doubt a Spanish translation of the book was using the English phrase, "Wolf-Woman" as much as she used "La Loba" in the English-language edition. Authors and their writing-style... Such is life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book several years ago during a two year period of going through a divorce. This book empowered me to get in touch with my inner female voice, listen to my instincts and trust them again (because they were always sending me warning signals I was told to ignore by my overbearing, controlling spouse at the time). This is a wonderful collection of tales from many cultures that remind us women that we are born with an instinctual knowledge of things to come. We, unfortunately, allow others (i.e. the men in our lives) to tell us we are too sensitive, overreacting, imagining things, jealous, distrusting, etc., only to discover that those instincts were right on the mark the entire time! This should be on every woman's bookshelf!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book at a time in my life when I was open to looking at who I really am. Each chapter resonated with something deep within that I had been hungering and searching for. This was the pivitol book that began my personal healing inner work. I recommend this book to any woman who wants to find the parts of herself she has lost or disowned. It is much easier to read with the right side of the brain and it does require emotional work as you go along, but very well worth it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My sister Hannah gave me this book ages ago and it is one that I read and re-read a lot. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is so wonderful if for no other reason than she challenges women to be individulas and not worry about being a group. She speaks of the repressed instinctual elements of women and how we as women need to follow our own path whether it makes feminists or conservatives happy.
And in an age when some woman seems to be trying to put me in a box, Estes keeps reminding me to fight back. Cammile Paglia, Susie Bright, and others are examples of what Ms Estes writes about. Or better yet rent the movie Auntie Mame with Roz Russell and see what I mean. Retrieval of intuition and Joyous Body the Wild Flesh, and Self Preservation: Identifying Leg Traps, Cages and Poisoned Bait are good reads. Trap #7 Faking It, Trying to be Good, Normalizing the Abnormal is refreshing. And as an artist and writer I relished Clean Water: Nourishing The Creative Life. Heat: Retrieving A Sacred Sexuality (ok sex is big with me) is something I think every over age 40 woman should read !
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By A Customer on Nov. 19 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book truly makes you think! Each story made me delve deeper into my own psyche. I realized things about myself that I never thought possible. This book makes you stronger! It validates the importance and necessity to be a 'Wild Woman'! I recommend this book to all women who feel that something isn't quite right. It helps you understand what has been missing from your life and gives you permission to be yourself - to be your 'Wild Woman'! Take note: if you're looking for an easy read, this is not the book for you.
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Format: Audio CD
I was disappointed that this CD was not unabridged, as it says it it. It was very short, a little over 2hrs, and did not give nearly the depth of the book. Had I known it was unabridged, I would not have purchased it.
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Format: Hardcover
Clarissa Pinkola Estes opened my mind...

I thought the book was going to be either too scholarly

or too depressing. My preset ideas were completely shattered

once I read the first chapter.

Ms. Estes opened up a fanciful world of fairy-tale

and folk-tale creature/archetypes and explained them

in a way that gave them life, fleshed out the "skeleton woman"

and inspired me to make my leap into the creative with her

technique of creating a "scapecoat" to introduce a healing ritual

into any woman's life.

My creative life was enriched. My dream life was enriched.

"Wolves" inspired me to keep searching deep within my unconscious

for those archetypes that would nurture me into FULL conscious

living.

"Wolves" will no doubt bring answers from the depths of many, both

male and female, who delve into the mysterious world of the

fairy/folk/archetypal myth. Readers who open to her images

will come out with a richer feel for life and living in the now.
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