Eve: A Biography is the history of Everywoman. Her brief adventure in the Book of Genesis is where the Western idea of woman began, and three thousand years after Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit, everyone still knows that losing Paradise was Eve's fault.
Pamela Norris traces the evolution of Eve's bad reputation, drawing on a rich and diverse tradition of storytelling that embraces myth, folk tale and popular romance, and puts the spotlight firmly on women and their sexuality. From Dinah and Delilah, Pandora and Psyche, to the snaky Lamias and Liliths who haunted nineteenth-century painting and literature, centuries of disobedient women have been linked with Eve, the original bad girl, providing ample ammunition for male fears and fantasies. But Eve's story has also been retold by women, who have found ingenious and often subversive ways to free her from her disreputable past.
Stimulating, intriguing and wittily erudite, Eve: A Biography is the entrancing tale of a folk maiden who metamorphoses into a vamp, a mermaid, a bluestocking, a witch, a virgin trapped inside the walls of a fertile garden and finally, perhaps, into a thoroughly modern woman who chews the apple of knowledge with gusto and wouldn't dream of offering Adam a bite.
"A valuable book, essential reading for anyone interested in tracing the ways in which the story of Eve has influenced Western understandings of gender." -Carolyn See,The Washington Post "Norris' touch is at once playful and wise... [She] is a consistently deft and imaginative critic." -Salon "A fascinating 'biography' of the women of Western Myth, folklore, and legend... Norris illuminates how persistent ideas of woman as both life- and death-giving, attractive and dangerous, innocent and knowing have changed over time." -Library Journal,starred review "An important addition to the literature of women's studies." -Publishers Weekly,starred review "Eve excites me because it provides such a rich cluster of stories around the image of Eve through Western culture." -Lillian S. Robinson,The Women's Review of Books