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Unorthodox : The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

ISBN: 9781439187012 | 1439187010
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: 10/2/2012

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"A remarkable tale" ( Kirkus Reviews): in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infideland Carolyn Jessop's Escape, Unorthodoxis a captivating story about a young woman determined to live her own life at any cost with a new Epilogue from the author. The Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism is as mysterious as it is intriguing to outsiders. In this arresting memoir, Deborah Feldman reveals what life is like trapped within a religious tradition that seems to value silence and suffering over individual freedoms. The child of a mentally disabled father and a mother who abandoned the community while her daughter was still a toddler, Deborah was raised by her strictly religious grandparents, Bubby and Zeidy. Along with a rotating cast of aunts and uncles, they enforced customs with a relentless emphasis on rules that governed everything from what Deborah could wear and to whom she could speak, to what she was allowed to read. As she grew from an inquisitive little girl to an independent-minded young woman, stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life. She had no idea how to seize this dream that seemed to beckon to her from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but she was determined to find a way. It wasn't until she had a child at nineteen that Deborah realized more than just her own future was at stake, and that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a pathfor herself and her sonto happiness and freedom.


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