Ingrid Bengis, born in 1944 in New York, is a writer best known for her pioneering collection of essays on love, hate and sexuality, Combat in the Erogenous Zone,. The book received critical acclaim and was nominated for a National Book Award. The New York Times Book Review said, "It must be read and it must be taken seriously if human sexuality is ever going to live up to its notices" while Newsweek called it "a remarkable book...that has probably moved both women and men on a deeper level than any other document of the new feminism". It was reissued in 1990 after Martin Duberman, writing in The Village Voice asked, "Where is this astonishing writer? Why has she dropped from sight". The reissue by Harper Collins included a new introduction by Duberman, in which he wrote, " was only twenty eight when the book was published, but had lived so intensely and could describe her experiences so freshly...that her ruminations about love, hate and sex struck many of us who were older than she as astonishingly vivid and wise. Nearly twenty years later, they still do." Among the most frequently cited quotes from the book are "Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match" and "For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change", quoted by Barack Obama in one of his 2008 campaign speeches.
The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will. -Ingrid Bengis.