The Woman's Voice

Patsy Rodenburg


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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
9 February 2023
ISBN: 9781350276543
240 pages

From the publisher

Why are so many women still not properly listened to? Why do they sometimes feel that they're less interesting than they are? Why do they often rush when they speak? Why do some women feel the pressure to sound like little girls? From one of the world's leading experts on the voice comes this call to arms for women to reclaim their voices. Using elements of experience and practice from her prolific career, Patsy Rodenburg examines these questions, and many more, to decipher what lies at the heart of female empowerment. From the age of four, Rodenburg knew that she found communication difficult. Her struggle with her own voice set her on the journey that led her to discover her vocation. She has spent her life re-finding and re-empowering voices, particularly the lost voices of women. Watching her highly intelligent working-class mother and grandmother ignored and often silenced gave her the insight to investigate why that was and how to help women overcome this centuries-old issue. With warmth and humour, Rodenburg interrogates Shakespeare's texts and his presentation of female characters; develops the notion of rhetoric in relation to the female voice; and applies concepts explored in her previous books, including The Three Circles of Energy. And, perhaps most crucially, through arguing that power and voice are directly linked to breath, Rodenburg makes the case that Western society's oppression of women has diminished their natural ability to breathe. Exploring the female voice through practical exercises and stories from the front line, as well as profoundly personal and formative experiences from her own life, Rodenburg defines the art of accessing the voice within and reclaiming the woman's right to speak.