Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood


By (author) Leah Vincent

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  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 146mm x 212mm x 30mm | 420g
  • Publication date: 21 January 2014
  • ISBN 10: 038553809X
  • ISBN 13: 9780385538091
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 146,097

Product description

In the vein of "Prozac Nation" and "Girl, Interrupted," an electrifying memoir about a young woman's promiscuous and self-destructive spiral after being cast out of her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, a fundamentalist sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. As the daughter of an influential rabbi, Leah and her ten siblings were raised to worship two things: God and the men who ruled their world. But the tradition-bound future Leah envisioned for herself was cut short when, at sixteen, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend, a violation of religious law that forbids contact between members of the opposite sex. Leah's parents were unforgiving. Afraid, in part, that her behavior would affect the marriage prospects of their other children, they put her on a plane and cut off ties. Cast out in New York City, without a father or husband tethering her to the Orthodox community, Leah was unprepared to navigate the freedoms of secular life. She spent the next few years using her sexuality as a way of attracting the male approval she had been conditioned to seek out as a child, while becoming increasingly unfaithful to the religious dogma of her past. Fast-paced, mesmerizing, and brutally honest, "Cut Me Loos"e tells the story of one woman's harrowing struggle to define herself as an individual. Through Leah's eyes, we confront not only the oppressive world of religious fundamentalism, but also the broader issues that face even the most secular young women as they grapple with sexuality and identity.

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Author information

Leah Vincent is a writer and activist. The first person in her family to go to college, she went on to earn a master's in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition to writing for various publications, including "The Huffington Post" and "The Jewish Daily Forward," she is an advocate for reform within ultra-Orthodoxy and for the empowerment of former ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking a self-determined life. She works with Footsteps, the only organization in the United States supporting formerly ultra-Orthodox individuals.

Review quote

"Wrenching ... Her book should be read, not just as a warning of the very real dangers of the world, but also of the price to be paid when, in the name of religion, people forget humanity." --"The Wall Street Journal ""A sometimes-sweet, sometimes-harrowing memoir by a smart, passionate ultra-Orthodox girl. . . . engrossing and so thoughtfully written, and never mocks the traditions and values of a culture that few of us can fully comprehend." "Painfully raw." --Susannah Cahalan, "New York Post" "Gripping. . . . Readers will appreciate Vincent's uncensored honesty in sharing the horrors of her past." --"The Washington Post" "As thoughtful and heroic as it is gripping and tragic ... riveting and relatable ... [Vincent] familiarizes, rather than exoticizes, the life she's led ... The finest example of this sort of memoir yet." --Flavorwire "Visceral and uplifting." --The Daily Beast "Compulsively readable." --"Bookpage" "Never before has rebellion been so sweetly rendered. And never--not since the memoirs of Mary Karr--has the connection between self-destruction and family dysfunction been so tangible and clear. To know Vincent is to love her, to ache with her, to kick up your feet and let down your hair with her. This is the kind of extraordinary book you'll finish in a day, and think about for months and years after." --Koren Zailckas, bestselling author of "Smashed "and "Mother, Mother " ""Cut Me Loose" brims with a girl's longing, and shines with a woman's insight. This book so courageously describes the forbidden: the great bind of being caught between desire and tradition. Vincent's voice is as lyrical as it brave, as hopeful as it is honest. Leah Vincent magically depicts the labyrinth of what it means to be vulnerable, sexual and female." --Christa Parravani, author of "Her ""Gutsy, smart, and incredibly difficult to put down, "Cut Me Loose" chronicles Leah Vincent's perilous and poign