It’s been a quarter century since the performer Eve Ensler—who now goes by V—created the culture-changing play The Vagina Monologues and, shortly thereafter, the anti-violence organization V-Day. Times have changed—we now have more inclusive definitions of gender—but V’s gift as a writer has not. Her new book, Reckoning, touches on many topics but cuts deepest when it chronicles her decades-long recovery from childhood abuse.

Actually, let me restate because, after talking to V, I’m disinclined to use clichés: her decades-long recovery from her father raping her and her mother protecting him. And as you’ll hear, that specificity matters