2020 IPPY GOLD AWARD WINNER ~ Memoir
A not-so-nice Jewish girl, expelled from Yale Drama during the Vietnam protests, abandons her acting dream to follow the man she loves to an off-the-grid commune in Oregon.
At 23, Carol Schlanger was an insecure upper middle class radical. Her parents spoiled her and she expected the universe to follow. It didn’t. After being expelled from Yale, losing a coveted Broadway lead, and seeing a suicide splatter at her feet, she left NYC for the Great Northwest, to live in nature with a man “who made everything beautiful with his hands.” At that time she chose love and nature, over art and career ... until she didn’t. Carol Schlanger put “hidden” cash down on an abandoned homestead—160 acres. The commune followed—all 13 jammed tight into a broken-down cabin with no phone, no electricity, and no running water. They were dependent on each other for every human need and survival. But then freeloading and free love threatened the hard-won utopia. After struggling through infidelity, rape, and childbirth, all except the father of her child left when Carol refused to share land ownership. When, as a lone wilderness “wife,” she accidentally set their house on fire, she realized she couldn’t survive in isolation. Strapping her toddler into a battered old Chevy, she headed to Los Angeles to reclaim her life as a mother, her power as an artist, and her responsibility as an adult. This time her Texan followed her. This is both their love story, and a love story for an explosive, mind-altering era.