- 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: 237,397
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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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.
"Leah Vincent's memoir is a fascinating view into Yeshivish life that feels as familiar to the reader as her own life because, Orthodox or not, we all grew up wrestling against our forbidden desires, mundane and normal as they were. Vincent's story is full of despair, of longing, of trying to find a place for herself amid a world that doesn't allow girls to be their whole yearning selves. The reader cheers for her when she finally escapes the prisons built by the various institutions she grew up with." --Kerry Cohen, author of "Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity "