Literary Cocktail Hour looks at ‘Eve and Human Evolution’ with Cat Bohannon

BRATTLEBORO-Author Cat Bohannon will talk about how the female body drove 200 million years of human evolution at this month's free online Literary Cocktail Hour, a virtual event presented by the Brattleboro Literary Festival, on Friday, April 12, at 5 p.m.

Bohannon's new book, Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, is described as "a myth-busting, eye-opening landmark account of how humans evolved, offering a paradigm shift in our thinking about what the female body is, how it came to be, and how this evolution still shapes all our lives today."

Why do women live longer than men? Why are women more likely to get Alzheimer's? Why do girls score better at every academic subject than boys until puberty, when suddenly their scores plummet? Is sexism useful for evolution? "And why, seriously why, do women have to sweat through our sheets every night when we hit menopause?" asks Bohannon.

In Eve, the author covers the past 200 million years to explain the specific science behind the development of the female sex "with boundless curiosity and sharp wit," say event promoters.

"We need a kind of user's manual for the female mammal," writes Bohannon. "A no-nonsense, hard-hitting, seriously researched (but readable) account of what we are. How female bodies evolved, how they work, what it really means to biologically be a woman. Something that would rewrite the story of womanhood. This book is that story. We have to put the female body in the picture. If we don't, it's not just feminism that's compromised."

Called a sweeping revision of human history, Eve is "an urgent and necessary corrective for a world that has focused primarily on the male body for far too long," say organizers. "It will completely change what you think you know about evolution and why Homo sapiens has become such a successful and dominant species."

Bohannon is a researcher and author with a doctorate from Columbia University where she studied the evolution of narrative and cognition. Her essays and poems have appeared in Scientific American, Mind, Science Magazine, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Georgia Review, The Story Collider, and Poets Against the War. She lives with her family in Seattle.

To register for this event, visit

This Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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