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"Instantly captivating, heartbreaking, inspiring...[An] almost-too-crazy-to-be-true story. This book is nothing short of remarkable."
―Elle Magazine, "Readers' Pick"
"[A] beautiful, powerful memoir. This assured debut is reminiscent of David Sedaris's and Augusten Burroughs's best work: introspective, hilarious, and heartbreaking."
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"With engaging story after story and a healthy dose of narrative tension throughout, Safran all but turns the pages for you."
―San Francisco Chronicle
"An enthusiastic, bounding picaresque...Safran is funny, engaging and a great storyteller."
―Jewish Daily Forward
"Poetic, and compelling...In this important book, Safran offers up the wounds of a flower child, and every frayed petal is astonishingly beautiful."
"A remarkable account of survival despite the odds."
"Joshua Safran's Free Spirit provides a mesmerizing coming-of-age story for one of the next generation's most inspired spiritual progressives."―Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun, and Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
"Free Spirit is a stranger-than-fiction look at an absolutely fascinating childhood."―Sam Apple, author of Schlepping Through the Alps
"Haunting and beautifully written, Free Spirit draws you into the gritty, white-knuckle ride that was Joshua Safran's childhood. Spellbinding. A must-read."―Liz Murray, author of the New York Times bestseller Breaking Night
"Rich in detail, humor, and compassion, Free Spirit is an eloquent coming-of-age story about a mother's well-intentioned, but flawed, search for utopia and the impact her chaotic journey had on her son. Thankfully, Joshua Safran emerges from his impoverished, rootless childhood resilient, resourceful, and wise. A transformative book."―Mira Bartók, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Memory Palace
"Some writers search everywhere for a great story, and others have a great story happen to them. Joshua Safran's tale of his upbringing among radicals, revolutionaries, and renegades is equal parts hilarious and touching. Strap yourself into the green bus for a whirlwind tour of the American underground through the eyes of an impressionable young storyteller-to-be."―Thomas Mullen, author of The Last Town on Earth
Joshua Safran is an author, attorney and nationally recognized advocate for survivors of domestic violence. His 7-year legal odyssey to free a battered woman from prison was featured in the award-winning documentary Crime After Crime, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and on the Oprah Winfrey Network. He has received numerous awards for his advocacy and his essays have been published in Salon and Huffington Post. His memoir, Free Spirit: Growing Up on the Road and Off the Grid, about his remarkable childhood on the dark side of the Age of Aquarius, was published in 2013 by Hyperion/Hachette.
Fantastic story, both funny and sad. Joshua's life was so interesting and full of colorful characters I often felt like it was fictional.Published 7 days ago by c.b
A fascinating insight to religious fundamentalism and the price its victims pay. Kudos to the author.Published 8 days ago by Marian S
If you want to know the details of a truly rough and unique upbringing, this book delivers. Such honesty was uncomfortable to read at times which is what makes it great, yet it... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Karen Nordy
Read this book in a day. Could not put it down. It stays with you on a lot of levels. Kudos to Joshua!Published 24 days ago by Shannon Reeves
I love this book. I bought if as a Christmas present for several people. I felt like I was truly inside Joshua's mind as a young boy growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Nancy K. D. Lemon
A sad story of a confused mother raising her young son in a the worst environment a mother could raise a child. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Murray
I couldn't put this book down. It's hard to believe everything in it is true...It is awful in so many ways, but also inspiring and really makes you think about life, love, societal... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Maggie F.