The Hungry Heart ~ A Woman's Fast for Justice is Zoe's actual diary of her 45 day event leading up to June 30, 1982, the deadline for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. With only the exception of spelling and grammar edits, this is her authentic journal with photographs, mostly taken by her late friend, Judy Rosenfeld.
It is easy to read, ideal for women's studies and women's history students who want to get inside of both the Equal Rights Amendment and the Second Wave crescendo of its deadline. Zoe writes in detail about the politics in Illinois, the nation and the women's movement.
You will feel her escalating hunger for equality, privacy, warmth and nourishment. Her book discusses the effects of fasting, the importance of pure water and marks with each day, of her 37 day fast, the actual feelings, challenges and elation. Staving off blindness, battling confusion, seeking safety and, finally, facing terrible defeat; this autobiography is intimate and intense.
Compared to Doris Stevens classic on the Nineteenth Amendment, Jailed for Freedom, The Hungry Heart follows this robust format. Both of these feminist's books offer a full historical and academic introduction on their respective amendments with personal diaries to follow; by real women who had harrowing experiences. In addition, The Hungry Heart is the quintessential book on fasting in a US progressive civil rights movement; referred to by activists for a description on the effects of fasting on the community, the media and the body.
The Hungry Heart ~ A Woman's Fast for Justice
Format: Trade Paper
Pages: 208, Photos: 50
Amazon Kindle edition 15.99
June 16, Day 30
Tonight, upon reflection, it feels as if I have stepped into the world I want to live in. This is the matriarchy as I have idealized it. It is an intimate, unguarded circle of women who are clear about defining their own relationships and find no threat in being present, available, physical and generous. Single women would be safe. Coupled women would be safe. Children would be safe. In fact, men would be safe. Whatever configuration of relationship a person may choose, it would be regarded, respected and unquestioned.
This is not the Michigan Women's Music Festival. This is not NOW. This is not a vacation or clubs or bars. This is my literary, spiritual and unspoken ideal. This is not what I am fasting for. I am fasting for equality of rights under the law in the U.S. I am fasting to legislate treating adults without regard to gender. I am fasting to criminalize discrimination. But my heart wants so much more.
I want a life built on trusting, intimate and integrated relationships. I want humans to meet without judgment, to join without conditions, to not require safeguards. I want danger and oppression relegated to fiction. I want limitless welcome, boundless potential and open communication. I want food for the body and the mind and soul to be equally important.
What People are saying ~
"As a teacher of U.S. Women's History, if I had to choose one book about the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment, The Hungry Heart would be that book. In fact, if I had to choose one book which captures the spirit of the women's movement of the late 1970's and 1980's, this would be it. Nicholson's account of the Women's Fast for Justice is the most compelling and profoundly accurate I have ever read about the transformative power of non violent action for social justice and the spiritual journey of one who travels that path" Mary Lee Sargent, Professor Emerita, Parkland CollegeAfter 25 years, Zoe has decided to share her private diary about summer 1982 when she joined 6 women in a solemn fast for the ERA. Fasting on water only for 37 days she tells us what she sees, how she feels, what went on. Her voice is so intimate, it feels like she is whispering. It is private and delicate. It is brave and broken. It is memorable and poetic.