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An electrifying memoir about a young woman’s self-destructive spiral after being cast out by her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family
In the vein of Prozac Nation and Girl, Interrupted, this brutally honest memoir tells the story of one woman’s struggle to define herself as an individual. Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that shuns the modern world. When, at sixteen, Leah was caught exchanging letters with a boybreaking a religious ban on contact between the sexesher family cut all ties. Sent to live on her own in New York City, adrift and unprepared for the freedoms of secular life, Leah’s desperate loneliness coupled with her stubborn loyalty to the dogma of her past pulled her into a vicious cycle of promiscuity and self-harm. It took a shocking state of despair to empower her to transform a life of tragedy into a tale of unexpected triumph, one that illuminates both the oppressive world of religious fundamentalism and the broader issues facing young women from all backgrounds as they grapple with sexuality and identity.
Leah Vincent is a writer and an activist. A first-generation college student, Leah went on to earn a Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Pforzheimer Fellow. Leah now works on projects that address social justice within ultra-Orthodoxy, the rise of Jewish fundamentalism, and the female experience of shame. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Unpious, ZEEK, The Daily Beast and The Jewish Daily Forward.