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Helen Zuman is a tree-hugging dirt worshipper devoted to turning waste into food and the stinky guck of experience into fertile, fragrant prose. She holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and a Half-FA in memoir from Hunter College. Raised in Brooklyn, she lives with her husband in Beacon, NY and Black Mountain, NC.
A Harvard grad seeks a mate in a cult that forbids monogamy. To pursue love on her own terms, she must brave exile and learn self-trust. When recent Harvard grad Helen Zuman moved to Zendik Farm in 1999, she was thrilled to discover that the Zendiks used go-betweens to arrange sexual assignations, or “dates,” in […]
Just as the Zendik community, a cult, pulled Helen Zuman in and held her, her account of her time there will pull you in and hold you. Her clear-eyed observations of her fellow idealists—and of herself—are honest, compelling, and sophisticated.
– DANIEL MENAKER, author of My Mistake: A Memoir
[Zuman’s] whip-smart prose…conveys the squalid exuberance of Zendik’s blend of idealism and fraud [in this] engrossing and offbeat story of ideological bonds that chafe—and sometimes liberate.
– KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)
Zuman’s entertaining depiction of life in a cult pits the appeal of belonging versus the desire for self-determination. An enlightening read.
– JULIA SCHEERES, author of A Thousand Lives and Jesus Land
by helenzuman in General
[A few months ago, I published a review of Sanction, Volume I, by Roman McClay. Today, I received this commentary on that same book, along with a request that I post it anonymously. Having consulted my pendulum, and received a reading of harmony with my Sacred Heart, I decided to go ahead and do so. […]
Welcome to my new podcast, Undercurrents! Enjoy! Episode #1 (20 August 2019): Live vs. Dead Power with Trike Impresario Gregg Zuman Gregg Zuman, founder and principal of NYC-based trike-services company Revolution Rickshaws, and a long-time pedicab driver, reveals why trikes have not yet taken over the world—and how they still might!
[In late summer 2004, a couple weeks before I left Zendik Farm, a dog named Apache ripped a chunk out of my left calf, while I was diving into the pond. This scene, in which I reckon with the bodily aftermath of that attack, didn’t make it into Mating in Captivity. But I do so […]