Vining through the ruins,
human ties remain.

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About the Author

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.

Mating in Captivity: A Memoir

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 […]

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Positive Brainwashing, with Bagpipes

by helenzuman in General

Each morning, I engage in what I call “positive brainwashing”—I listen to a voice memo of myself reading a series of supportive texts (written in response to prompts from kick-ass life and career coach Sarah Mac), with the first few songs of The Complete Scottish Bagpipe Collection playing in the background. Here’s one such text; […]

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In Praise of the Dumpster Fire

by helenzuman in General, Madgelma

In the days and weeks and months and years before MOSS, Madgelma had thought, a lot, about the polyculture of stories. She remembered learning, in high school biology, that scientists liked to conduct experiments on ­­Drosophila melanogaster—the fruit fly—because it reproduced so quickly: they could observe, within forty-eight hours or so, the implications of a […]

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Driving the Soul Thieves from the Temple

by helenzuman in General, Madgelma

Madgelma didn’t know what had gotten into her, on that particular day; she did know that the sweep of her arm seemed inexorable, as she shoved that first laptop off the table. She was staying at a hostel in Scotland, on the sacred Isle of Iona. There was a sign posted on the door to […]

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