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An exhilarating memoir about one woman’s globe-trotting journey of inspiring awakening and self-discovery.
Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about recognizing its source. The result is Man Fast, a true and intimate spiritual detective story.
With courage, honesty, and wit, Natasha shares the story of her awakening. Starting with the decision to fast from dating, she embarks on a journey that takes her from New York to an ashram in southern India to toiling in a vineyard on Mount Etna to a solo safari in southern Tanzania. In stepping away from the modern demand to couple up, Natasha finally finds a reflective space where she can be fully aware: of her grief, of her identity, and of love as a mystical, ever-present force.
An antidote to a culture that prizes finding the right man, Man Fast is an emotionally charged journey that leaves us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Revised edition: This edition of Man Fast includes editorial revisions.
A Note From the Publisher
“Natasha Scripture’s quest for independence and self-definition in the face of pressure to conform to traditional ideas of femininity will be familiar to women everywhere. Presented with brutally honest and wry insight, Man Fast will provoke readers to rethink their choices in the best possible ways.” —Soraya Chemaly, award-winning writer, media critic, and activist
“A gorgeous testament to the pure power of slowing down and going deeper. Natasha Scripture has learned the divine order of manifesting: first we attune, then we attain.” —Danielle LaPorte, creator of The Desire Map book and planners
“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
“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, author of Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid
“Smart, searching, and soulful, Natasha Scripture’s Man Fast is an absorbing read for any woman thinking about a change of place, or heart. Exhausted and overwhelmed by her gut-wrenching work as a humanitarian aid worker in the most devastated places in the world— not to mention everyone’s expectations that she get married and have a kid already—Natasha takes a sabbatical, and a break from men. Her travels span many exotic countries—India, Tanzania, Italy—as she searches to find herself at home and at peace with herself. 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 and a Half Wife, Happy Birthday!, and The Trouble with Women
“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
“Utterly captivating! In her thirtysomething years on this planet, Natasha Scripture has lived many lifetimes—all of them juicy. 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
“Eat Pray Love reimagined for a spiritually seeking millennial audience. Important, resonant, and touching on a woman’s essential journey.” —Eleanor Mills, editorial director of the Sunday Times
“We all want to be part of a bigger story, something beyond ourselves that allows us to serve the world while finding personal fulfillment and a sense of wholeness and well-being. Natasha’s journey shows us how we can ultimately transcend the idea of wanting to give or receive love—to learn how to actually become love itself, to tap into a deeper wellspring of the love, wholeness and beauty that ultimately lives within, which connects us with the rest of existence. Written with authenticity, boldness, and vulnerability, this is a remarkable story of a truly remarkable journey within, of returning home to one’s own self. A powerful, poignant read.” —Ananta Ripa Ajmera, author of The Ayurveda Way: 108 Practices from the World’s Oldest Healing System for Better Sleep, Less Stress, Optimal Digestion, and More
“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 and 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, New York Times bestselling author of Seinfeldia and Sex and the City and Us
“An engaging memoir with life lessons all along the way. Natasha is a great writer, and this is the kind of book you may find yourself staying up to read long into the night.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Love
“Man Fast is a delight: honest and funny, truth-telling and wise. And it’s a salve and a guide for any of us who are questioning who, how, and when to date or marry. Scripture reminds us that it’s simple: look inward and you will find what you need.” —Elizabeth Flock, author of The Heart Is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai