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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On Villaging: Work, Money, Art

by helenzuman in General

[This is my October column for Livelihood magazine. I’m posting it here, temporarily, until it appears on the Livelihood website. Enjoy!] In past columns, I’ve purported to know what I’m talking about. This month, for a change, I’d like to explore something that remains mysterious, perhaps to you as well: how to create and maintain […]

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When the Oil Runs Out

by helenzuman in General

I wrote this song in 2006, after completing my Permaculture Design Course at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Occidental, California (and Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature). When I sand it last week at the NYC Permaculture Festival, some listeners requested a recording. Here it is, with lyrics:   Oil runs down from […]

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To Build a Sentence

by helenzuman in General, Madgelma

At first, she thought the tools didn’t belong in her writing area (which double, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled as her bathroom, dining table, charging station, ancestor altar, art studio, and so on). After all, she hadn’t put them there—she simply hadn’t bothered to remove them. Once she’d wiped the blackened boards of the ancient workbench a […]

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