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

3.65 (2,280 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 boy breaking a religious ban on contact between the sexes her 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."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 225 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 15mm | 181g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143127411
  • 9780143127413
  • 529,298

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." People.com
"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 poignant search for identity. As she grapples with profound loneliness and her dreams for the future, she ultimately arrives at a place filled with hope." Wendy Lawless, author of Chanel Bonfire
"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

"Leah Vincent's family abandoned her in the name of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. In her poignant memoir, she explores the imposed ignorance of her fundamentalist upbringing, the open wounds of her abandonment, her desperate, at times self-destructive, yearning for connection, and the self-discoveries that gave her the courage to shape her life and find her voice. The voice Vincent has claimed is unflinchingly honest and incisive. It has already begun to resound on behalf of others who struggle to escape abuse and oppression." Anouk Markovits, author of I Am Forbidden
"Vincent s writing brims with tension, insight, and longing. This quickly paced book is not about sex, though sex is a part of the narrative. It s ultimately a meditation on love and its myriad cruelties, as well as its eventual beauty and transcendence." Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger, Tiger
"Leah Vincent shares a harrowing journey that will speak to all children fleeing intolerance, who struggle to be seen and accepted on their own terms." Julie Metz, bestselling author of Perfection"
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About Leah Vincent

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."
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Rating details

2,280 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 23% (520)
4 34% (778)
3 31% (716)
2 9% (207)
1 3% (59)
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