a cult memoir
for smart people


Get excerpts from MATING IN CAPTIVITY—and more!

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 […]

Amazon.comBarnes & NobleIndieBound.comiBooks

More about the book See all books

Hitching with Mavis

by helenzuman in Cults, General, Memoir, Zendik

This is an excerpt from Mating in Captivity, my memoir of five years in a cult called Zendik Farm. In this scene, I’m on an “out,” which I’m hoping will fix what I see as my lack of commitment to Zendik. The first thing I noticed about the woman who pulled over for me, about […]

Continue reading...

How to Eat Chocolate

by helenzuman in General

I still remember, in my early twenties, eating a large bar of Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate one night when I was home alone, and then puking it up into the toilet. Back then, I had no standards for the kind of chocolate I ate, and used chocolate as an escape. (As a kid, I ate […]

Continue reading...

Why My Chocolate Is Awesome

by helenzuman in General

This is Holy Crack! You can buy it on Etsy, at Chocolate Church. It’s awesome. Here’s why: It’s made of the highest-quality ingredients—the kind that both nourish your body and help regenerate the web of life. The cacao is raw, organic, direct trade, and imported by a company just across the Hudson River from the […]

Continue reading...