Period. End of Sentence.
Published by: Scribner
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Buy the Book: Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, IndieBound
When the documentary film, Period. End of Sentence. won an Oscar in 2019, Melissa Berton — producer and founder of the The Pad Project — accepted the award by saying, “A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.” Inspired by the movie, Anita Diamant has written a collection of essays about periods that explore the cultural roots of menstrual injustice, which erodes self-esteem, limits opportunities, and even threatens lives. The book also celebrates a new generation of activists and innovators who are working to end period poverty and stigma, and describes the brave new world of period products, advertising, art, and comedy.
Diamant, author of the bestselling novels The Red Tent (2007) and The Boston Girl (2014), sustains the impact of the Oscar-winning documentary Period. End of Sentence in this scorching and utterly unforgettable read. After a foreword by producer Melissa Berton detailing the film’s development, Diamant swiftly unleashes a narrative of the history, politics, and economics detailing how societies around the world have long treated the normal, natural human function of menstruation as a source of shame. Brandishing a stunning array of statistics and sharing stories from around the world of girls and women in every social circumstance, Diamant delivers a withering account of how menstruation has led to humiliation, threats, and on more than one grim occasion, even death. Here, too, are rousing stories of success, including the middle-school girls in America who rose up against a male school principal who claimed students would “abuse the privilege” if free tampons were made available in restrooms and the Indian inventor who became committed to bringing not only menstruation products to poor women but also the means of their production. This is a barn burner of cultural analysis that never strays from the preventable suffering at its core. A life-improving title that should be made as widely available as possible.
— Colleen Mondor for Booklist, April 15, 2021