How one woman’s dating detox turned into a spiritual reckoning across four continents
By Natasha Scripture
A memoir of a dating detox that turned into globetrotting journey of self-discovery
'Smart, funny, and deeply wise' Mirabai Starr
'A funny, courageous, and inspiring memoir about one woman's journey into the unknown' Elisabeth Eaves, author of Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents
Any cute boys? Natasha Scripture's 64-year-old Indian mother wants to know. Once again, Natasha finds herself explaining that it is not easy to find a husband while serving as a relief worker in refugee camps, war zones and natural disaster areas.
Yet returning to New York, still reeling from the sudden death of her father, Natasha realizes that no matter how many dates she goes on, she is no closer to finding that special someone to fill the imaginary void inside her. Exasperated by her search for love, she embarks on a 'man fast', where she stops looking for a relationship and instead turns inward to explore the question at the heart of her anxiety: what is her purpose?
This soul-searching takes her deep into the wilderness: from meditating in an Ayurvedic ashram in southern India to toiling on a vineyard on Mount Etna to going on a solo-safari in southern Tanzania (where she also marries herself-yes, it's a thing).
In stepping away from the demands of modern life and societal pressure to couple up, Natasha finds a space where she allows herself to become fully present and awake: to her grief, to her identity, and to love as a mystical, ever-present force.
This is a book to inspire readers who also want to discover their truest, wildest, most empowered selves.
Natasha Scripture is an author, poet, activist and former aid worker. As a spokesperson for the United Nations, Natasha covered humanitarian crises around the world, including conflicts and natural disasters in Ethiopia, Haiti, Libya, and Pakistan. Before the UN, she worked as a writer, producer and editor for a variety of organisations, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera English, TED, National Geographic and Conde´ Nast Publications. She has also contributed to the New York Times and The Atlantic, among other publications. Natasha has a Masters of Science in Gender and Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Bachelors degree from New York University. While a native of Washington D.C., Natasha has lived in several different countries and travels frequently.
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- Publication date:
03 May 2018
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A funny, courageous, and inspiring memoir about one woman's journey into the unknown. Scripture shows us her unraveling against the backdrop of exotic landscapes and emerges from her grief-stricken journey with a new sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of love. It becomes impossible not to root for her. — Elisabeth Eaves, author of Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents
Smart, searching, and soulful, Natasha Scripture's MAN FAST is an absorbing read for any woman thinking about a change of place, or heart . . . She's an engaging guide for a spirited and spiritual journey. — Laura Fraser, New York Times-bestselling author of An Italian Affair and All Over the Map
Contemporary, lyrical, funny, inspirational, sometimes painful, and always intellectually rigorous. This beautifully-written book demonstrates the emotional complexities and struggles facing many modern women today, while also underscoring how women are exercising agency and continuing the solid fight against stereotypes and gender prescriptions. Natasha lends a fresh voice to the inventory of emerging feminist authors. — Meghna Pant, author of One & A Half Wife, Happy Birthday, and The Trouble With Women
Utterly captivating! As an international aid worker in some of the most devastated regions, Natasha shares highlights of a journey that sent her swinging between the upper limbs of adrenaline and compassion and descending into the sacred depths of grief and self-inquiry. A vital aspect of her self-directed vision quest was the practice of letting go of the search for conventional partnership in favor of fully showing up for her own true self. Smart, funny, and deeply wise. — Mirabai Starr, author of GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and CARAVAN OF NO DESPAIR: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation
I was immediately absorbed by this raw, self-aware and humorous book. Natasha Scripture takes us on an emotionally charged journey, and leaves us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the world. Man Fast is a book for anyone who has worked through unmanageable grief and come out the other end. — Jessica Alexander, Chasing Chaos: My decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid.
Natasha Scripture takes us on a heartfelt quest to explore the meaning of love, in all its multi-armed wisdom and splendor. Her travels are varied and intense, but more so, her internal journey, circling around the world to find the truths within herself. Beautiful, honest, vulnerable, and compelling, Man Fast is a spiritual travel memoir for anyone who has chased after success and wondered if perhaps there was more to life and living. — Lavanya Sankaran, bestselling author of The Red Carpet and The Hope Factory.
Scripture reminds us of the secret we can't be told, the one we have to experience in order to know; that love cannot be found in any single sacred text or in any far off temple dripping in gold. The love we seek and eventually find is the love we start with, that's left unnoticed in our own heart. Man Fast is a must for any woman ready to find not just love but the source of love itself. — Meggan Watterson, author of REVEAL & How To Love Yourself
Natasha Scripture's Man Fast is as well-written and deeply felt as one could hope for in such a memoir. It digs deep and inspires me to do my own intensive spiritual work. — Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, NYT bestselling author of Seinfeldia and Sex and the City and Us
Natasha Scripture's quest for independence and self-definition in the face pressure conform to traditional ideas of femininity will be familiar to women everywhere. Presented with brutally honest and wry insightful, Man Fast will provoke readers to rethink their choices in the best possible ways. — Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her
Natasha writes beautifully about the awkwardness of choosing to not look for love after becoming exhausted by looking, all the while wondering if not looking for it will be exactly what brings it. Of accepting that which, deep down, feels unacceptable, of coming to peace with what one gives up by choosing one extraordinary path over another. This book made me think about quitting my job to go move to Yemen, and also to squeeze my two-year-old. Life is confusing. — Kristin Newman, author of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding